Chicago Sun-Times

Bears working to re-sign RB Kevin Jones

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John St. Clair isn't the only Bears player to reach the open market that the team wants back.

Add running back Kevin Jones to that list. The Bears have made him a contract offer but there is considerable interest in him right now. Jones told the Sun-Times that most of the teams in need of a back, including Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay have expressed interest in him. It's not known if he has fielded any other contract offers.

Jones said last season that he would like to return to the Bears even though he was used sparingly, getting just 34 carries and being a healthy inactive for a stretch of four games late in the year. He petitioned coach Lovie Smith for a chance to participate on special teams and then got back into the mix.

"I've have been telling you all along, and you may have thought, `This kid is crazy,' during last year, I want to come back to the Bears,'' Jones said. ``I like the staff, I like all the teammates. If you want an example of what an NFL team should be like, the coaching staff, everything, that's it. I'd love to be back but sometimes business gets in the way."

Jones signed a one-year deal for the minimum-salary benefit last summer after the club had cast off former No. 4 overall pick Cedric Benson. He was about six months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL at the time. As much work as rookie Matt Forte received--he was fourth in the league with 316 carries--Jones never really got into the mix on offense.

Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo have both said they want to see a more diversified running attack next season. Jones would be in position to compete with former third-round pick Garrett Wolfe for playing time if he returns. He might find better assurances for playing time elsewhere, however, and he's evaluating the situation with his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Elsewhere:

*** Rex Grossman expressed interest in being a backup to Tony Romo in Dallas last week when he appeared on Sirius NFL radio. That was if he couldn't find a team that would give him an opportunity to start. That seemed like a curious match for Grossman to hope for considering the fallout he had with Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson that was exposed when Wilson left the Bears following the 2006 Super Bowl season.

Well, it doesn't look like it will matter after Dallas traded veteran cornerback Anthony Henry to Detroit on Saturday for quarterback Jon Kitna.

Meanwhile, there was other action on the quarterback beat. Dan Orlovsky has visited Houston, Kurt Warner will visit San Francisco, Ryan Fitzpatrick signed in Buffalo and, oh yeah, Matt Cassel got dealt from New England to Kansas City where he'll play for former Bears wide receivers coach Todd Haley. And in news related to another Indiana-raised quarterback, the Denver Broncos have reportedly been exploring trade possibilities for Jay Cutler. Best of luck to rookie head coach Josh McDaniels in smoothing that one over.

What's interesting is Bill Williamson of ESPN.com reports that the Bears could be one of three teams Cutler could be dealt to now. The quarterback is irate with the Broncos and wants out. From Williamson:

The source said Denver is no longer interested in dealing Cutler, who made the Pro Bowl in 2008, his second full season as a starter. The source said Tampa Bay, Detroit and Chicago could be possible destinations if Cutler gets his way and is traded. The source pointed out that until Cutler heard about the trade talks Saturday, he was completely happy playing for McDaniels and being in Denver.

The only problem with that is the Bears have been effusive in their support for Kyle Orton and prying Cutler out of Denver would require a substantial package, the kind general manager Jerry Angelo would be unlikely to put together.

*** Wide receiver Bryant Johnson landed a three-year deal from the Detroit Lions. The Bears had at least some interest in him a year ago but they were not known to show any for him this time around.

Stay tuned as we track more updates Sunday in Day 3 of free agency. Four Down Territory returns Monday.

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25 Comments

Of course he loves it here, he got paid a lot of money not to do anything. Got the no practice, practice, and a GM that hands out large contracts and extensions to injury prone players. Kevin Jones may never want to leave, it's seems like a perfect fit for him. Would you want to leave if you were him?

Looks like Rexy baby is going to have a hard time finding a team, even as backup. Maybe he can find a job in arena football or in Europe?
All the REX fans in Chicago have got to be perplexed at the fact that no one wants him. Reality is setting in for those fans as well as REX. Maybe thats why he didn't want to leave chicago last year...because he knew that he couldn't get a job elsewhere.
Next stop could be sports announcer for high school football.

Bill Williamson of ESPN ought to find a new career if he really believes the Bears would ever acquire Jay Cutler.

Brad,

What are the chances of the Bears signing Sharper seeing as how he claims interest in them (according to the Tribune)?

I never was big on the Kevin Jones signing from the get go for the simple fact he was 6 months removed from knee surgery, and Jones has never been that durable to begin with. This season is different, Jones is now a year removed from knee surgery, and unlike last season should be more effective now that he's healed up. I think the knee still bothered Jones last season and Jones came back sooner than he should have out of desperation to prove he still belongs in the league. Jones still has durability issues, but in Chicago he would only be a backup and wouldn't have to carry the load so to speak. When healthy Jones is a threat to break a big one on every carry, and would be the perfect complementary back to Matt Forte. With all the interest in Jones right now to be a starter, I don't see him coming back anyways. But again, healthy, and a year removed from surgery, I say Chicago should sign him, we'll see.

As far as the Denver and Jay Cutler thing, if Denver does deal him, they need to fire their GM or whoever is running the show on the spot. Yeah, lets trade a QB who put up 4526 yds passing and 25 td passes, and has completed 62.4% of his career passes. Last season only his second in the league, he threw for almost 3500 yds and had 20 td passes. Get over the John Elway hangover already, oh well not our problem I guess so GO BEARS!!

Can we get Brandon Marshall too (as long as we are pipe dreaming)?

I like Kevin Jones, but don't bring him back if you're not going to play him. How would things be different than last year?? We need someone to take some of the load off of Forte, and for whatever reason that didn't happen last year. I don't want to see a repeat.

i cant wait to hear all of questions on monday about Cassel and Cutler. it will be interesting to see if angelo even faked interest in Acquiring a Franchise QB in Cutler or a probable Franchise QB in Cassel. Does anyone really believe Angelo is going to draft anyone that would make passing on one of them worth it. how come a man who cant draft to save his life holds on to picks like they are gold. i'd rather take a chance on those two QB's who at least have done something in the NFL than the garbage angelo will fall in love with and draft. please god dont make me have to put up with Lovie and Angelo for more than two more years.

Kevin,
I am right there with you that the GM and McDaniels should be fired if they seriously considered trading Cutler for Cassel (3 way deal, but that is the crux of it). Apparently, McDaniels thinks that he isn't capable of building an offense around a cannon-armed, accurate, and competitive QB. He wants an average armed, system guy to make his system work. This is why none of the Belichick coaching tree seems to be having success. They are all looking for lightning in a bottle, a la Tom Brady, and a solid performance by over the hill veterans. So rather than build a team around one of the best young QBs in the league, let's alienate him by attempting to trade him for a guy who hadn't started a game since high school before this season.....

As far as Jones, he has the potential to be a pretty good complement to Forte, but it remains to be seen whether he still has the speed that made him so dangerous after the multiple leg injuries. Lisfranc and ACL are not words you want to hear when it comes to running backs. As we saw with Mike Brown, eventually the legs can no longer hold up under that type of regular strain.

But the idea that Garrett Wolfe is capable of being any more than a 3rd and long scat back or special teamer is overestimating his ability in my opinion. He does not appear to possess the quickness of a Warrick Dunn to make people miss in the hole, or the home run speed to take a short run and turn it into a long TD. And Adrian Peterson, while a hard worker, just doesn't scare anybody. He does everything well enough, but is not the 2 in the 1-2 punch that we need. He also made some pretty stupid mistakes on special teams, costing us 15 yards at least twice that I can remember this past season. A veteran like him needs to be smarter than that. We need something better than marginal or acceptable on the team. Maybe that is a draft pick on day 2 this year, or someone who gets released after the draft, but another back needs to be added.

Hmmmm, Haven't we seen enough of the "rewarding our own players"concept Jerry believes in ? Nothing against K. Jones, but as long as we keep the weaker A. Peterson and G. Wolfe, why spend on ANOTHER second tier RB? We have plenty under contract already.Can't the money be better spent on a second (or third) tier safety or another O linesman no one ever heard of ? J.A. amazes me,he's the John Gotti of G.M.'s. The "Teflon Don". Repeated bad decisions and nobody calls him out on it !! Brad, take a poll on this site and let's see where J.A.'s approval rating is among fans ( who pay for tickets, jersey's hat's....to further enrich the McCaskeys)and send the results to Halas Hall. Obviously , they are out of touch w/ their fan base.

The Bears are interested in Jay Cutler???????...Pinch me...I must be dreaming!...Maybe I'm not as dumb as all you bloggers think!!!....ORTON (you know what I think)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah sure the Bears trade for Cutler, when pigs fly maybe then?

JA and TP do not have the quihones to pull off a trade like that, although it would be awesome to land a QB like Cutler. Oh yeah I forgot, the McCaskeys own the team and they are too cheap to spend the type of money needed for a franchise QB. Oh yeah forgot another thing, the Bears don't know how to develop QB talent, or at least the last 50 years have supported that fact.

I just wished that type of stuff would not be printed, so as to not get the hopes up for long suffering Bears fans that have wished for a great QB. We get the hopes up and then an atomic bomb explodes with the reality that the BEARS are doomed to never have a QB that is truly special until the team is sold, JA and Lovie are fired and Ted Phillips joins the Bengals.

Sorry for my cynical perspective (particularly lately) but reality sucks sometimes.

Long time reader first time poster.I feel that the Bears should put their best players on the field whenever possible.The Bears strength on Offense is at Tightend. We have Clark and in 2 tightend sets Clark and Olsen.I am wondering how you feel about playing Kellen Davis at Fullback, if not full time at least in situations where we could cause matchup problems(streching the field)or Goalline situations.I feel that the Bears sould find a way to utillize this big body.I am not sure how well he can block in the run game but I know he would be a definite upgrade(over McKie) out of the backfield on pass plays.Brad tell me what you think in your Q&A

mrmick wrote:
"J.A. amazes me,he's the John Gotti of G.M.'s. The "Teflon Don". Repeated bad decisions and nobody calls him out on it !!"

mrmick,

You obviously don't read the other posts on this blog and other blogs. Or listen to talk radio.

Until the Bears get rid of JA they will always be a mediocore team. The Bears would never be interested in a quarterback that is cocky and would demand good players around him like Cutler. They seem to be happy with the timid basketcases (Rexy) and the humble hicks (Neckbeard).

Jerry should try to get Cutler. Period!

NBS of course the Bears are intrested in Cutler, he is from Vanderbilt. Angelo got real excited but then something happened.

Angelo: Lets take a look at this kids contract.
Turner: (all excited hands the contract to Angie)
Angelo: OH LORD JESUS, HELP ME GOD HELP ME, IM BLIND I CAN'T SEE GOD I CAN'T SEE!!!
Turner: (Hands Angie Kyle Ortons contract)
Angelo: Oh lord thank you lord thank you, thats better I can see again, I saw demons Ron, Demons.

There is no chance Cutler comes here, Angelo is just acting like he cares to play the fans. You watch.

Kevin Jones has rushed for less than 800 yards in 3 years, at the end of last season he should have been totally healthy. If he wasn't healthy then he got hurt again. If he was healthy he should have probably played at least on down when Forte was hurt. He was given only two attempts after the bye. The Bears said he was fine, Jones said he was fine and there have been no reports of any problems. Which means he is just that bad and is looking for a team to latch onto and leach money off of. No thanks we already have Peterson and Wolfe, who both at least did something for the team, and at least Wolfe has a shot to be a change of pace back unlike Jones. If we need another back, like a big power back, then we have the draft, grab a fullback in round 5-7 like Tony Fiammetta.

Enough with the damn stop gaps already, you don't get better by brining in stop gaps, you draft like you know what your doing, you make good trades, and sign young up and comming FA, and on a rare occasion you can sign a vet who is past his prime, to bring some attitude and leadership, but probably should not rely on them as starters for two years. Stop spending 5-6 years on a draft pick to figure out if he is good or bad, other teams do that in three years or less, cut your dead weight and injury prone players and move the F### on. It's not rocket science. Jones is garbage, if you can cut a guy like Mike Brown who gave you 15 games and tons of leadership and attitude, then you better get rid of this steaming pile who does nothing for the team. If you keep him and get rid of a guy like Brown, then that tells you what kind of team you have.

Jones
Garza
Hillenmyer
Lloyd
Metcalf
Booker (great guy but should have never been relied on to be a reciever for the bears)
Miller (was on the team last year wtf????)
Ogunleye (Time to go) our best pass rusher who has had 20 sacks in 3 years, got paid a million dollars a sack last year. Sucks against the run, has never been able to beat a double team, is not fast, and is only good when Harris playing at an elite level. Time to give Izzy a shot who is a natural LDE, let him cut 20 pounds and give him a shot, had 3.5 sacks last year in limited duty and I promis he will be better against the run.
Toeaina (how many DT's does tis team need, guy has done nothing in 2 years, dead weight) we need 6 DT's, why?? we need 4 and a swing guy.
Anderson (2 years and no production, see ya)
Davis (4 years and 900 yards, drop half the damn passes thrown your way, time to go)
Dusty (3 years three season ending injuries and not very good when he does start, dead weight)

Why show interest in a guy when he might only be mentioning your name to get a bigger raise at his desired destination? Players do that often because they learn it from their agent or from a veteran player. If you want to play for this team come here take a physical and sign on the dotted line. Too many times in the past we've seen guys come here and get our hopes up only to get a bigger contract somewhere else. I'm not going to say to not get all you can but in reality you might not fit with what a team is doing. Do QBs or WRs really want to come here? We have fans who are very hard on players and maybe the weather and the general feelings about this organization isn't all touchy-feely like we think. I would love to see what the general concensus around the league about what is desired or undesirable about this team and the city and the whole shebang. Maybe there is a general feeling that we are not aware of. You look at the list of teams that Cutler could be traded to and it might just be for punishment sake that we are on that list.

If Chicago can land Cutler I'm all for it, but regardless of who plays QB who the hell is going to catch the ball? Jerry Angelo said that they expect "attitude and coaching" to improve this team but how does that make a bunch of bad WR any less bad?

So the Bears potentially getting one of the top young QBs in football is buried deep in the article, but talk of them potentially resigning their third string RB is your lead story?


Priorities, Brad, priorities.

its not a story here because angelo doesnt have the biscuits to pull the Cutler move off. the only way angelo gets us a franchise QB is if he only has to give up a 4th or 3rd round pick and can Restructure he contract so he wouldnt be a top paid QB. Besides we still have some Veterans on def that are getting old and need to be rewarded for their avgerage play. thats why we are hording our cap space.

Housh, was supposed to make a decision tonight but apparently is not going to according to his agent. He will be staying the night at minn in order to continue talks with Wilf. Just either sign the damn guy or let him continue shopping, let us Bears fans figure out what we should worry about the most.

I like K.Jones but we don't need him. Besides I'd rather see Garrett Wolfe as #2 back. Does anybody else notice that alot of players say they like it here? I think it's because Country Club Lovie is so easy compared to anywhere else! No wonder we lost all them games in the fourth quarter, this team has it too easy and is out of shape! Jerry, do anything you can to get Cutler! You won't be sorry!

Someone tell Angelo we don't need a broken down running back. Lets get Rashad Jennings from Liberty and cut garrett Wolfe. I thought we were a running team? 4-12 here we come!

Hadji I think the reason players like to play for Lovie is because he doesn't bad mouth them to the press and treats guys with a great deal of respect. The first year he was here we had the worth assortment of pulled hamstrings of any team in the league. He learned from that and realized that you don't have to kill guys to get results. The Bears have one of the oldest teams in the league. The Giants coach didn't use to respect his players until they broke it down to him and he eased up. Tiki Barber was a tough player but mainly retired because Coughlin didn't respect his veteran status. It took him retiring and guys telling Coughlin that he was too hard on them to get to be a team ready to win the Super Bowl. Some of you guys just have problems with Coach Smith and don't want to give him any props. If he was fired you wouldn't get Cowher in his place so stop acting like he's in somebody's way. Our next coach will be a guy who's team didn't even make the playoffs. We won't pry him away from some elite team so that isn't even a factor. And I'm sorry but there is no way in the world that Wolfe is going to be in any mix. If the Bears cut him he would be out of the league. He's not fast nor is he strong. He's not elusive either. He can't make people miss and he can't break tackles. Where does any of that say he's a change of pace Back?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 1, 2009 12:12 AM.

Until Tait's retirement papers are filed, a little doubt is only natural was the previous entry in this blog.

Cutler to Bears? We hate to crush dreams but ... is the next entry in this blog.

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