5 Chicago Bears playing for starting chances in 2023

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4. Will the Chicago Bears release Justin Jones?

When the Chicago Bears signed Justin Jones to a two-year deal, it was obvious that it was a one-year deal disguised as two, to give both sides hope for the future. Still, all indications at this point are that the team would be best off releasing Jones. They would save about $5M in doing so.

Justin Jones was signed to play the 3-technique role, which is a key to the Matt Eberflus defense. He saw DeForest Buckner take his unit to the next level in the same role. He also tried to sign Larry Ogunjobi to fill this need.

It is obvious they put a lot of stock into it. So, while Jones has not been a huge issue, he is not the game-flipping presence in that role that Eberflus wants. The Chicago Bears have already been linked to Jalen Carter in the draft as well as options in free agency. If that is happening, Jones is not coming back to be a $5M backup.

Jones may return, but it would be on a different deal, or it would be after he puts together a much stronger month than the start of the season. If Jones finishes strong, the Chicago Bears will have a decision. He has played fine, but do they want more than that from their 3-technique, and will Jones want to come back at a cheaper number to be a backup?