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Maurice Jones-Drew says AJ Dillon is an ideal fit with the Bears

Would the Bears be interested in signing Quadzilla? Probably not, and here's why

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The Bears have another spending spree in front of them this offseason, with the projected ninth-most cap space in the NFL (barring no cuts, which is unlikely).

One former NFL running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, recently wrote the Bears would be an ideal fit for free agent running back AJ Dillon.

"Dillon has missed Green Bay’s last two games due to neck and thumb injuries, and prior to that, he averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry in 2023," Jones-Drew wrote. "Still, when Dillon's healthy, I think he can provide a team with a hard-nosed, physical running back to wear down opposing defenses late in the season. That’s why I’ve paired him with Chicago, where he could join Khalil Herbert in the backfield and produce in cold-weather games. With Justin Fields potentially playing elsewhere in 2024 -- opening the door for a rookie at quarterback -- a veteran RB duo would be tasked with carrying a lot of the offensive load."

Dillon, 25, will be a free agent this offseason, as his rookie contract with the Packers is set to expire.

As Jones-Drew mentioned, Dillon didn't dazzle this season, rushing for a career season-low 3.4 yards per carry. He finished with 613 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games this season.

His best performances came from the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He rushed for 803 yards and 770 yards, respectively, while adding decent receiving numbers out of the backfield, too. Between both of those seasons, he scored 14 touchdowns.

Known to some as "Quadzilla," Dillon's 6-foot, 250-pound frame is his biggest asset (no pun intended). He's a power-runner with relative quickness (4.53 40-yard dash at the combine). He would make a solid fit for any team in need of a third-down back who can catch and perform in short-yardage situations.

Unfortunately, that doesn't apply much to the Bears. Their backfield is set and remains one of their most productive groups. Last season, the Bears rushed for 2,399 yards --- the second-most in the NFL behind the Baltimore Ravens. The season prior, the Bears rushed for over 3,000 yards collectively, setting a franchise record.

Justin Fields contributed heavily to that number, rushing for over 1,000 yards in 2022. And since there's a chance he won't don a Bears uniform next season, it makes sense to try and plug the rushing gaps in the backfield. But that doesn't seem all too likely.

Khalil Herbert rushed for over 600 yards last season; D'Onta Foreman rushed for 425 yards and four touchdowns; rookie back Roschon Johnson was the team's fourth-leading receiver, rushing for 352 yards himself, too. The Bears are well-equipped in the backfield.

Remember, too, general manager Ryan Poles originates from the Kansas City Chiefs, who are known for drafting and developing late-round running backs and using a cohort to rush the ball. He's seemingly applied the same philosophies in Chicago, drafting Johnson and signing Foreman, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in a backup situation with the Carolina Panthers in 2022.

The Bears want to put the most money in the positions that matter. And while Dillon's expected contract value is cheap ($3.5 million annually, per Spotrac), they're performing well on the ground with barely any money plunged into the backfield. That's the best-case scenario.

The focus of this offseason --- outside of the quarterback situation --- will likely be placed on finding an elite edge rusher, offensive line help and snagging an elite receiver to pair with DJ Moore.

But if the Bears, for some reason, are looking to sign a running back, Dillon would be a pragmatic fit.

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