With the NFL Trade Deadline a week from Tuesday, speculation has centered around Chicago Bears starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson and whether or not the team views him as a long-term member of the defensive core.
Johnson, who witnessed the team trading veteran leaders Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn last season, admitted last week that the trade deadline is on his mind.
Johnson has never wavered in his desire to remain with the Bears but he made his intentions a little more clear after his two-interception performance against the Las Vegas Raiders including returning one for a touchdown.
When asked about his celebration after the game, Johnson made it clear that a message was sent.
"“You damn right,” Johnson said when asked if he was sending a message with his celebration. “100 percent.“I’ve been wanting to get to the table. At the end of the day, I know who I am, and I know I can play this game at a high level. I feel like I deserve to be paid like that.”Johnson quickly noted it was a message to any team in the NFL, not just the Bears.“I’m taking that attitude to any team. Any and everybody in the NFL. It’s with the Bears, then I’ll do that. If it’s with anybody else, for sure.“I’m one of those guys that can be paid at a high level.”–NBC Sports Chicago"
Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson sent a clear message to the team’s front office after a two-interception game on Sunday.
Many have been quick to suggest that the Bears will trade Johnson being that he is on an expiring rookie contract, like Smith last season, and the team will likely be viewed as sellers at the trade deadline next week.
The comparison between Johnson and Smith is a lazy thought exercise. The fact of the matter is that the Bears reached a point of no return with Smith last season when the linebacker went over general manager Ryan Poles’ ahead to express his frustration with the contract negotiations at the time while also requesting a trade.
Of course, Johnson’s message on Sunday may change the current tune of negotiations between the team and cornerback.