Bears’ GM Provides Update On Jaylon Johnson Contract Talks

Jaylon Johnson, Chicago Bears
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears fully intend on bringing back cornerback Jaylon Johnson this offseason, and general manager Ryan Poles provided some good news along that front on Tuesday.

“Conversations are going well at this time,” Poles said, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “We feel like we’ve done a really good job coming to the table strong, showing the respect that he’s due just in terms of his production through his career and really an emphasis on the turnovers that he created this past year. Our expectation is that’s going to continue to go as he’s with the Bears. When I say coming strong, that means cash flows are strong, guarantees are strong, the term is strong for him.”

Poles added that he feels “really good” about where things stand between Johnson and the Bears but also qualified his statement by saying that it “takes two to tango.”

So, perhaps Johnson is still a bit undecided in terms of what he wants to do heading into free agency.

Johnson will likely end up being one of the highest-paid defensive players on the open market this offseason, as he is coming off of a breakout 2023 campaign in which he racked up 36 tackles, four interceptions, a forced fumble, 10 passes defended and a defensive touchdown in 14 games. He made his first Pro Bowl appearance as a result.

The 24-year-old, who played his collegiate football at the University of Utah, was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Johnson immediately broke into the starting lineup during his rookie campaign, making 13 starts and finishing with 44 tackles and 15 passes defended. He then registered 46 tackles, a pick, a forced fumble and nine passes defended in his sophomore year, and in 2022, he totaled 35 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and seven passes defended.

The only drawback to Johnson is his durability, as he has never played a full season and has averaged just 13.25 games per season since entering the league.

Still, when healthy, Jaylon Johnson is a force, and the Bears seem to be working quickly to retain him.

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