Chicago Bears: No contract for Jaylon Johnson wouldn’t be a surprise

Chicago Bears(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

When Chicago Bears cornerback opted not to show up for part of the offseason program, he cited that he was deciding to spend as much time as possible with his daughter and noted that he is a dad first.

There is absolutely zero reason to fault him for making such a decision, but as the offseason wears on, the subject of a contract extension looms. Of course, Johnson wants to secure a long-term deal as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

But, the problem is, Johnson wasn’t a Ryan Poles draft pick. So, he is anything but safe from being allowed to leave.

In truth, it would not be surprising to see the Bears opt not to extend Johnson and allow him to hit the free agent market in 2024.

Jaylon Johnson has no ties to Ryan Poles, and the Chicago Bears will be set up for several options

Johnson has been a pretty good player since being drafted in the second round back in 2020, but last season was clearly a step forward for him. After allowing five touchdowns in each of his first two seasons as a pro, Johnson cut that number down to just one in 2022.

The issue with Johnson, though, is his inability to take the football away. In three seasons, he’s only come away with one interception, and is allowing an opposing passer rating of roughly 100.

Next year, the Bears have a multitude of draft picks to use on whichever positions they deem to be the biggest need. Some would argue it will be pass rusher, while others might say cornerback if Johnson is gone.

Chicago will also continue to be financially stable, with plenty of cap space still to work with next year. The Bears could go after free agents like Trevon Diggs, Jeff Okudah, Greedy Williams, Kristian Fulton, among many others.

This will be a big year for Johnson, because the Bears defense figures to be better than it has been in his tenure with Chicago. If Johnson posts a big season and can come away with some takeaways, he might convince Poles to give him an extension, and it will certainly cost more than it does right now to do so.

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