Latest Chicago Bears signing is terrible news for Velus Jones Jr

The Velus Jones Jr. experiment may be drawing to an end.
Chicago Bears Mandatory Minicamp
Chicago Bears Mandatory Minicamp / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Velus Jones Jr. was already one of the Chicago Bears players on the bubble ahead of training camp next month but there was a belief that Jones could have a newfound impact on the Bears in his third season given the new NFL kickoff rules.

The fact of the matter is that Jones' only shot at making the Bears' 53-man roster would be as a return specialist. At best, Jones is probably the fifth wide receiver on the current Bears' depth chart behind DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, Rome Odunze, and Tyler Scott.

If Jones is not the Bears' return specialist, he has no value to the team. The idea of Jones being the return specialist is now in question after the Bears' latest signing on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Bears reached an agreement on a one-year deal with return specialist DeAndre Carter.

Carter spent 4 games during the 2020 season with the Bears. In those 4 games with the Bears, Carter returned 4 punts for a total of 30 yards. Most recently, Carter spent the 2023 season with the Las Vegas Raiders. On 11 kickoff returns with the Raiders last season, Carter totaled 262 yards.

Velus Jones Jr. may not be a candidate for the Bears' roster.

The new kickoff rule notwithstanding, Carter's signing seems to be another indication that the Bears are preparing to end the Jones experiment. Short of Jones proving in training camp that he is the specialist the Bears need for the new kickoff rules, it would seem more likely that the Bears will go with Carter or the returning Dante Pettis for the role. It's also worth noting that among the Bears' undrafted free-agent signing was running back Ian Wheeler, a noted return specialist during his college career.