Bears sign former Jets defensive back Jackson

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The Bears have signed former New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson, seen here  before an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug 21. 2021, between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis.

    The Bears have signed former New York Jets cornerback Lamar Jackson, seen here before an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug 21. 2021, between the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. Associated Press

 
By Sean Hammond
shammond@shawmedia.com
Updated 1/19/2022 5:42 PM

The Bears announced Wednesday that they signed Lamar Jackson.

No, not that Lamar Jackson. Not the 2019 MVP quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens. That Lamar Jackson is under contract with the Ravens for one more season.

 

No, the Bears signed 23-year-old defensive back Lamar Jackson, who grew up in California, played college ball at Nebraska and spent most of last season on the New York Jets' practice squad. The Bears signed him to a futures contract Wednesday.

Jackson becomes the 12th player to sign a futures contract with the Bears. Eleven others did so last week.

Futures contracts can be given to any player who was not on a 53-man roster at the end of Week 18. They are typically at or around league minimum pay and don't take effect until the new league year begins in March.

This Lamar Jackson went undrafted out of Nebraska in 2020. He signed with the Jets in 2020 and began the season on the practice squad, but wound up appearing in 13 games and starting six in 2020. He spent most of 2021 on the practice squad, making an appearance in one game.

The relatively minor transaction did not go unnoticed, though, given Jackson's name. Former NFL executive Bill Polian, who is helping the Bears with their general manager and head coaching searches, was working as an ESPN analyst when he suggested Lamar Jackson the MVP quarterback would be better suited as a wide receiver.

So there's a little bit of irony behind the Bears, who are listening to Polian's advice right now, signing a player named Lamar Jackson to play a position other than quarterback.

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