I got a kick out of seeing news cross the wire that the Bears signed Lamar Jackson back in January.
Nearly two months later, Chicago’s football team is signing someone else whose name joining the Bears made you stop in your tracks before realizing oh, they’re not talking about *THAT* guy:
#Bears roster move:
We have signed ILB Joe Thomas.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) March 1, 2022
The Bears announced the signing of Joe Thomas, the linebacker. Not to be confused with Joe Thomas, the offensive tackle.
Joe Lewis Thomas Jr., the newest member of the Chicago Bears, is a 30-year-old linebacker who played collegiately at South Carolina State. Thomas has 93 games worth of playing experience with the Packers (2015-17), Cowboys (2018-20), Texans (2021), and Ravens (2021). On to top that, Thomas has spent time in camp with the Ravens (2021). Primarily a special teams contributor, Thomas has been a starter in a pinch. He made eight starts with the Packers from 2016-17, six with the Cowboys in 2019-20, and two with the Texans in 2021. There isn’t much on the résumé here, but 93 games (16 starts) over seven seasons is nothing to look past.
With the Bears changing their defensive scheme to a front with four down linemen and three linebackers, Chicago’s front office needs to bring in some bodies to fill positions. And with the special teams group getting its annual turnover, this team needs to be ushering in depth in waves. ‘Tis the season for building roster depth, after all.
But now that it’s on my mind, part of me wishes the Bears would’ve also signed the other Joe Thomas. The 37-year-old retired after the 2017 season. And that probably puts him off the radar. But we just came off a season in which Jason Peters showed us that age is nothing but a number. Surely an offensive line that needs work could find room for Thomas. Who wouldn’t want a six-time first-team All-Pro, 10-time Pro Bowler, and member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team? Just sayin’ … gotta turn over every stone in a search for line help. Right?