In March, the Bears agreed to terms to sign defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi to a three-year deal worth $40.5 million. Or so they thought. The Bears unfortunately could not sign Ogunjobi because of a failed physical, which led new general manager Ryan Poles to pursue other options for the defensive line.
Enter Justin Jones.
The former Los Angeles Charger signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Bears to fill a vacancy on the defensive line in new head coach Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 scheme.
Jones will primarily play the three-technique position and said that he feels at home in the new scheme. He mentioned that his role includes being disruptive and making plays, which will be important at the line of scrimmage, especially with stopping the run game of opposing offenses. With veteran Akiem Hicks no longer in the fold, Jones will need to step up and provide a boost in penetration to the defense.
The Bears secondary looks good on paper, with rookie second rounders Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker flanking Jaylon Johnson and Eddie Jackson. However, Jones providing a strong pass rush with edge rushers Robert Quinn and Trevis Gibson will make the secondary feast on potential interceptions and help the offense out with a shorter field.
Bears fans will rightfully have their eyes turned to the ongoing development of Justin Fields this season, but don’t forget about Jones and the defense as well.
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