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Bears Losing Options at 3-Technique

Former Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, after the top three defensive tackle options had already signed elsewhere.

The Bears better have a plan at 3-technique defensive tackle for later in free agency or the draft because the options are dwindling.

In fact, their fallback is gone.

The Arizona Cardinals signed former Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones to a three-year, $30.1 million deal with $19.75 million guaranteed.

Essentially, Jones is getting far more than the Bears signed nose tackle Andrew Billings for, and Billings' addition made a huge difference last year on the defensive line as they led the NFL in run defense a year after finishing 31st.

Jones had signed with the Bears for two years and $12 million and did not exactly earn high praise for his work. Pro Football Focus graded Jones 107th out of 130 interior defensive linemen last year and behind both rookies Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens. He had a better year than in 2022.

However, Jones had career highs of 4 1/2 sacks, 17 quarterback hits and 22 pressures.

The Bears have often called the 3-technique position on the defensive line the key to their defensive scheme but now they're left with two young players and the other top options in free agency have already reportedly agreed to deals.

Chris Jones, Justin Madubuike and Christian Wilkins have all signed deals. Jones got five years, $158.7 million to stay with the Chiefs. Madubuike got four years and $98 million to stay in Baltimore. Wilkins got $110 million for four years to go from Miami to the Raiders.

The Bears will find the remaining free agents might not be complete fits for their 3-technique spot. Sheldon Rankins of Houston might be the top remaining player for the position.  

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