This is the biggest issue for Braxton Jones entering 2024 with the Chicago Bears

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This is a big season for Braxton Jones. The Chicago Bears will be deciding whether to extend him after this season or let him enter the year with the chance to be a free agent in 2026. Beyond that, they drafted a tackle in round three, showing that they have a potential replacement in mind if Jones struggles. 

What does Jones need to do to show that he can be a long-term option at left tackle? The biggest thing is penalties. Overall, Jones has looked fine enough, but the penalties are killer. As a rookie, he had 12 penalties, which was an 11.7% rate. That was ninth worst amongst left tackles with at least 400 snaps. The top two did not even start in 2024. 

Unfortunately for Jones, he continues to rack up penalties at an alarming rate. His 12.6% penalty rate was fourth worst amongst qualified tackles. Only Walker Little, Trevor Penning, and Mekhi Becton were worse, and there is a real chance that none of those three are even starting this year. 

Braxton Jones must clean up the penalty plays

So, when you are committing penalties at the rate that Jones does, you typically lose your job. for Jones, 21 penalties in two seasons is too much. The team has to see him cut down in this area.

Jones has the excuse of being a rookie from Southern Utah in his first year and he was coming back from an injury in year two. This is what makes year three such a make-or-break year for Jones. 

The reality is that Jones can continue to play at the same ability for the most part, he just has to find a way to trim down the penalties. We will find out if that happens. If not, Jones will not even get a contract offer from the Bears.