The Chicago Bears signed former Detroit Lions' running back Kevin Jones to a one year, $650,000 deal. Jones is coming off a torn ACL in December and may end up on the Bears' physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he continues to get healthy.
Jones will bring more depth to a running back corps that ranked 30th in rushing last season. With Cedric Benson being released and Adrian Peterson being the only veteran with more than two years experience in the backfield, the Bears are in need of quality players. Jones may be considered a gamble by some but only time will tell.
Jones may be a pleasant surprise should he be able to return to his prior form. Jones is a decent pass catcher out of the backfield and should be able to help the Bears in some of their third down packages. Jones had his best pass catching season in 2006 when he had 61 receptions for 520 yards while averaging 8.5 yards per catch.
Not having an established deep threat in the passing game and losing Bernard Berrian to the Minnesota Vikings in the offseason will hamper the Bears' passing game this season as teams will not respect Rex Grossman's or Kyle Orton's (should he win the starting job) ability to throw the deep ball accurately or consistently.
Having more depth at the running back position will strengthen the Bears' passing game in turn as the opposing defenses will not know whom to "key" on in the offense should they establish a respectable running game.
The Bears need a back that can carry the ball 20-25 times a game and pass block well. Jones fits both of the requirements when healthy. How well he fits in with the rest of the team and how quickly he learns the running scheme remain to be seen.