Bears Might Release Former Mid-Round Draft Busts During Camp

Vince Carbonneau
May 27, 2024  (4:09 PM)

Velus Jones in action
Photo credit: Yahoo Sports

Bears' 2024 Training Camp Could Lead to Tough Cuts for Mid-Round Draft Picks

The Chicago Bears are set to have their most competitive roster yet under head coach Matt Eberflus as they head into the 2024 training camp in late July. With increased competition comes heightened pressure on underperformers, particularly two former mid-round draft picks who are now on the roster bubble.
NBC Sports Chicago's Alex Shapiro recently highlighted wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. and defensive end Dominique Robinson as Bears players at risk of being cut this summer. Both were part of GM Ryan Poles' first draft class and have yet to make significant contributions over their initial two seasons, potentially earning the "bust" label.
Jones, a 2022 third-round pick, serves as the team's primary kick returner and could benefit from the NFL's new kickoff rules, boasting a career return average of 27.4 yards. However, he has struggled to make an impact in the Bears' receiving corps, with only 11 career receptions. His position on the roster is precarious unless he can demonstrate improved performance in training camp.
Robinson, drafted in the fifth round of 2022, has been largely ineffective as a pass rusher. He made a promising start with 1.5 sacks and seven tackles in his rookie season opener but has since managed just 35 tackles and a half-sack over 27 games.
«Even with Austin Booker joining the rotation, defensive end is not the deepest group on the team, so Robinson might stick around thanks to a numbers game alone,» Shapiro noted on May 26. «But if players like Khalid Kareem or Jacob Martin outperform him over the summer, the Bears could cut bait.»
Windows Still Open for Velus Jones & Dominique Robinson
While the outlook for Jones and Robinson isn't particularly bright, they still have opportunities to prove their worth. Jones, despite his limited offensive production, could secure a spot due to his special teams value, especially under the new kickoff rules. If he can develop as a receiver, his return skills might help him stick around as a depth option.
However, Jones is already 27 years old, only slightly younger than top receiver DJ Moore. His age could intensify scrutiny if he fails to show improvement, putting additional pressure on his performance in camp.
Robinson faces a tougher challenge. Once seen as a raw talent with potential, he has not lived up to expectations, recording just five pressures in 2023 and finishing as Pro Football Focus' lowest-graded edge rusher among those with at least 100 snaps. With the Bears needing more from their pass rush, he must outperform competitors like Kareem and Martin to secure his spot, especially if the team signs a veteran pass rusher such as Yannick Ngakoue.
Other Bears at Risk of Being Cut in 2024
Shapiro also identified fullback Khari Blasingame and offensive tackle Larry Borom as veterans who could be on the chopping block. Blasingame's role could be diminished if new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron opts against using a traditional fullback, given his tendencies in Seattle.
Borom, a 2021 fifth-round pick, has appeared in 39 games over the past three years, but the arrival of rookie Kiran Amegadjie and the signing of veteran Matt Pryor could make him expendable. Cutting Blasingame would save the Bears about $1.6 million in cap space, while releasing Borom would free up another $3.1 million, providing financial incentives for these potential moves.
As seen Here - Bears ‘Could Cut Bait' With Former Mid-Round Draft Busts in Camp
MAY 27   |   66 ANSWERS
Bears Might Release Former Mid-Round Draft Busts During Camp

Do you think the Bears should keep Velus Jones Jr. for his return skills?

Yes1624.2 %
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