JUSTIN:Bears have Selected $18 Million Playmaker Velus Jones to..

Bears May Select $18 Million Playmaker Velus Jones to Replace Velus Jones.

If the Chicago Bears are ready to call it quits with former third-round pick Velus Jones Jr., a veteran wide receiver with a similar skill set — and ties to the team — could make sense for them when 2024 NFL free agency begins in March.

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus recently tried his hand at projecting the future teams for several notable wide receivers in the 2024 free agent class and flagged the Bears as the top potential landing spot for 27-year-old wideout Curtis Samuel.

Where did Velus Jones Jr go to college? Did Velus Jones Jr play college  football?

Spielberger pointed out that Samuel is “very close friends” with DJ Moore — the Bears’ No. 1 receiver — from the time they spent together with the Carolina Panthers. He also noted Samuel’s ability to be a playmaker with the ball in his hands, whether it be as a ball carrier out of the backfield or a short-yardage target near the line of scrimmage.

Spielberger wrote for Pro Football Focus on January 31. “Samuel offers a skill set the Bears seemingly tried to acquire in drafting Velus Jones Jr. — he can carry the ball out of the backfield and also rack up yards after the catch from slot and wide alignments.”

In the offseason of 2024, the Bears will need to add more receiving depth. Their contracts with Trent Taylor, Darnell Mooney, and Equanimeous St. Brown expire on March 13, the official start of the new league year, which begins at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Moore, on the other hand, is back as their top receiving target.

Tyler Scott and Jones are the only other receivers still under contract from the squad that played in the previous season; Jones may be on the

How Much Sense Does Curtis Samuel Make for Bears?

The Bears find themselves in an interesting spot when it comes to their receiving corps. While they struck gold with last year’s trade for Moore, their decision to acquire Chase Claypool and potentially turn him into a long-term weapon blew up in their faces. They also now face a key free agent decision with Mooney, who battled injuries and finished with fewer than 500 receiving yards for a second straight season in 2023.

If they elect not to re-sign Mooney, there is far more urgency for Chicago to land at least one more starting receiver for their offense in 2024, but that does not necessarily mean they will be willing to shell out top dollar for some of the pricier options on the market. After all, they are already paying $20 million annually to Moore and have little reason to make a similar investment in a second receiver, even with $46 million in cap space.

That’s where someone like Curtis Samuel could earn consideration. Over the past two seasons, the 27-year-old has caught a combined 126 passes for 1,269 yards and eight touchdowns for the Washington Commanders and worked primarily as their second receiving option opposite star Terry McLaurin. He has also been reliable and efficient despite uneven quarterback play, registering just four total drops on 91 targets in 2023.

Now, the Bears could always pursue their new No. 2 receiver in the 2024 NFL draft with one of their two first-round selections. Even still, Samuel could be a wise investment to add more depth and experience to the roster at a reasonable price.



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