Christian Jones’ career arc with the Bears was fun to follow.
An undrafted free agent from Florida State who signed in 2014, Jones grew into a niche role player who was a core special teams member and serviceable spot starter at inside linebacker. His reward for the gains he made in Chicago was a multi-year free agent contract with the Lions, where he was a solid starter from 2018-20.
And now, Jones is back again:
A familiar face.
Welcome (back) to Chicago, Christian Jones! 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/plAfbB24Tv
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 23, 2021
Jones is back with the Bears on a one-year deal. It’s a second stint for Jones, who played in Chicago from 2014-17. During that time, he played in 63 games (31 starts) for the Florida State product, who is embarking on his second stint with the team. Jones returns to the Bears after playing 45 games (42 starts) in three years with the Lions. But with a new regime taking over in Detroit, the Lions cut Jones to create cap space and an open roster spot. However, one team’s loss is another’s gain.
I thought it was interesting when Field Yates tweeted about the Bears hosting Jones for a visit. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on as to why something was being sparked in my brain. But seeing the signing become officially official made the lightbulb go off above my head.
Last year, the Bears had obvious depth issues. And those deficiencies were exposed throughout the year, serving as a reminder of how they went unaddressed by the front office. A year later, it’s clear that this front office doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice. Firstly, with the signing of offensive lineman Elijah Wilkinson joining the mix as a swing tackle. And now with Jones. bolstering the Bears’ depth at inside linebacker.
Bringing in a solid ILB3 with sstarting experience behind Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan might seem like a luxury. But there’s no such thing as having too much quality depth. Besides, isn’t having in-house depth better than the alternative of dragging a player off the streets as a free agent, putting them on your practice squad, then starting him in a playoff game out of the blue? I’d like to think so…