The Chicago Bears will have an interesting decision to make with Justin Jones. They just signed him last year but only inked him for two years, so this is once again the last year of his contract. So, he could leave at the end of this season, or the team could try to work something out long-term if they liked what he brought in year one.
Justin Jones signed a 2-year, $12M deal last time around, can he hit that again, or potentially sign a bigger, longer deal?
Projecting a Justin Jones contract extension with Chicago Bears
A few interior defensive tackles who signed deals recently include Larry Ogunjobi, Bilal Nichols, Roy Robertson-Harris, Austin Johnson, and DaQuan Jones. The first three names have ties to the Chicago Bears, so it will be fun to compare them to Justin Jones. This comparison is just since 2020 to give a more recent sample size in the league that moves so fast.
Putting Justin Jones in the middle of the pack is pretty fair. He is fourth in tackles but second in tackles for loss and third in sacks. He is a bit lower in pressures but a bit higher in run defense and right in the middle regarding Approximate Value. Needless to say, these are good comparisons and can at least gives us some boundaries.
So, what types of deals did these players sign?
Larry Ogunjobi did get the most out of all the names mentioned. To be fair, even the Chicago Bears first preferred Ogubjobi, and his stats do show that he was better than most of these other players.
With that in mind, his $9.6M salary per year is definitely a ceiling for Justin Jones, and even a solid season in 2023 may not hit that type of salary on his next deal. Still, while he does have similar numbers to Bilal Nichols, the rising salary cap and reality that the others are in the $7M range probably gives us a floor for Justin Jones as well.
Justin Jones signed $6M per year last time around, and his range this time is between $5M and $9M. The average may be the right number. It gives Jones a little more than he just signed for and shows that the Bears not only appreciate what he did but also that, because of the rising salary cap, it is about the same deal anyways.
Would you extend Justin Jones to a two-year, $14.5M deal with about $10M in guaranteed money if you were the Chicago Bears? Is that a fair deal for Justin Jones to accept?