In the midst of a flurry of free agency signings and losses during free agency, the Bears have chosen to keep a duo of veterans in Chicago, as they have re-signed both kicker Connor Barth and linebacker Christian Jones to one-year deals within the past day.
By: Peter Elliott – NFL, MLB, and NCAA writer – @PelliottSports
Under his new deal, Barth is set to be paid $155,000 in guaranteed money while the contract is worth $980,000 in total, while the official terms of Jones’ deal have not been released yet.
He took over at the position for Chicago after longtime kicker Robbie Gould was cut before the start of last season. Before joining the Bears, Barth played for the Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Denver Broncos under current Bears head coach John Fox.
In the 2016 campaign, Barth went 17-for-23 on field goal attempts, good for 78.3 percent, which put the 30-year-old close to dead last in the league in scoring. The right-footed kicker converted 31 of his 32 extra points and averaged 62 yards per kickoff with 26 touchbacks. His longest converted field goal last year was from 54 yards out, three yards less than his career high.
Jones, on the other hand, has been with the Bears since being signed in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State. In his three years in the NFL, Jones has played snaps in 47 games and has started in 20 of those. In that time, Jones has collected 204 tackles, four of them being for a loss, two sacks, five pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries.
Jones also frequently contributes on special teams and has made 26 total tackles while serving on the squad.
In addition to Barth and Jones, the Bears have also re-signed Connor Shaw, Patrick Scales, Eric Kush, Bryce Callahan, Daniel Brown, Josh Bellamy, and Jonathan Banks.