Christian Jones is back in the Windy City. The Chicago Bears signed the inside linebacker to a one-year deal the team announced Tuesday night. An undrafted free agent out of Florida State, Jones signed with the Bears in 2014 and spent his first four seasons in Chicago before heading to a divisional rival after he became a free agent in 2018.
The Detroit Lions signed Jones to a two-year, $6.35 million deal in 2018, and signed another two-year extension the following year, but various ailments led the Lions to release him at the end of last season. Jones filled in as a role player for the Bears in his first several seasons with the team, and he was a durable presence, playing in 63 games while starting 31.
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Christian Jones: What He Did in Detroit
His time in Chicago helped propel the linebacker to a starting gig in Detroit, where Jones played in 45 of 48 possible games, starting 42. During his time in the Motor City, the 6-3, 205-pound backer had 177 total tackles (109 solo), three sacks, seven tackles for loss, eight passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Jones did see his playing time decrease over the last two seasons, largely due to nagging injuries. He played 65 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in 2018, 53 percent in 2019 and 46 percent last season.
He was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder issue in 2019 — an injury that required surgery. Groin and knee injuries limited his 2020 campaign, but neither were serious, so the Bears should be getting a healthy, solid depth piece on the line who shouldn’t require much time to adjust. Jones, who just turned 30 In February, is familiar with Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai, as Desai was on staff during his tenure in Chicago.
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Bears Also Set to Re-Sign Veteran Safety/Special Teams Standout
The Bears are also reportedly planning on bringing back veteran safety DeAndre Houston-Carson on a one-year deal, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Houston-Carson has been a key member of the team’s special teams unit over the last five seasons, all of which he’s spent in Chicago. He has never started a game but has appeared in 64, playing in all 16 games each of the last two seasons. He has played on 81.5 percent of the team’s special teams snaps over the last two years.
A 6-0, 205-pound free safety, Houston-Carson has amassed 43 tackles (33 solo), two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed over his five seasons in the league. He also logged the first interception of his career in 2020.
Chicago also brought veteran Deon Bush back, making a reunion with last year’s starter at the position, Tashaun Gipson, questionable. Perhaps the Bears’ plan is to find a talented young player to pair with Eddie Jackson in the upcoming draft, but regardless, they likely aren’t done hunting for a starting safety any time soon.