Chicago Bears News: Underrated cornerback becomes available

Chicago Bears (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Before the Chicago Bears take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1 under the lights, they still have a couple of question marks.

The Bears’ roster is essentially set, but worries remain — particularly at cornerback.

Chicago’s top cornerback, Jaylon Johnson, is truly the only one in their corner room that fans have any faith in. Other than Johnson, the Bears have Artie Burns, Xavier Crawford, Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley.

Sunday night, it will likely be Vildor who gets the start opposite Johnson, but the Bears should be far from confident in his ability to contain the Rams’ passing attack. If Ryan Pace wanted to shore up their cornerback room, he could go after a recently-released veteran, Chris Jones.

The Chicago Bears could shore up their roster by signing recently-released cornerback Chris Jones.

On Monday, the Tennessee Titans announced that they had cut Jones, who is now free to find a new home, and hopefully before Week 1.

Jones was an undrafted prospect out of Nebraska back in 2018 and has since spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings. Having only started six games throughout his career, Jones doesn’t bring a whole lot of experience, but he’s no slouch.

Over the course of the 2019, Jones played 275 snaps for the Cardinals. He allowed zero touchdowns while coming up with six passes defensed. Jones also earned a respectable 72.6 coverage grade via Pro Football Focus.

Most of Jones’ time was spent out wide, which could potentially allow him to compete with Vildor there. But, he does have a bit of experience in the slot. Versatility is key, especially when the Bears don’t have a lot of talent here.

Regardless of whether or not the Bears choose to sign Jones, one thing remains clear: they have to add talent in their cornerback room. It’s arguably the biggest weakness on their roster at the moment, and the schedule is tough this season.

Just yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers signed veteran cornerback Josh Norman. That begged the question, where was Ryan Pace? Norman would have made a ton of sense for maybe the worst cornerback room in the conference. While he isn’t the All Pro he once was, Norman would have been an improvement over just about every guy on this roster, other than Johnson.

Other free agent options for the Bears include D.J. Hayden, Richard Sherman, Rashaan Melvin, Dre Kirkpatrick and Cre’Von LeBlanc.

While no one knows what will happen with Sherman’s incident from the summer, he’s still unsigned, remains unsuspended and could very well help the Bears this coming season.

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The others on that list could still upgrade the Bears’ depth, but one has to wonder whether or not Pace will go out of his way to bring in additional help at this stage. If they stick with their current cornerback room, we could be begging Pace for cornerback help next week if the Rams’ offense does what many believe it could.