The NFL Trade Deadline is today and the Chicago Bears are waking up to a surprising development between the team and starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
Johnson has made it no secret that he is seeking a long-term deal but as recently as Monday afternoon during his weekly hit with “The Parkins and Spiegel Show” on 670 The Score, there seemed to be an understanding between the cornerback and the team as Johnson said that no side had taken a hard stance.
A hard stance has since been taken as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported overnight that Johnson has requested a trade from the Bears and that the team has given the cornerback permission to seek a deal with another team.
Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson has requested and given permission to seek a trade from the team after contract negotiations have broken down.
At first blush, this is a terrible look for general manager Ryan Poles. If Johnson is traded before the deadline today, this would mark the second time in as many seasons that the team decided to trade away their defensive leader. The Bears traded linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens last season after contract negotiations broke down. The silver lining with Johnson was that the negotiations with the Bears, albeit at a slow pace, were believed to be headed in the right direction prior to Johnson requiring a trade on Monday.
If the Bears were a team that deserved the benefit of the doubt, then the alternative spin to Johnson requesting a trade would be that the team is looking for another team to do the negotiating for them. With Johnson being allowed to speak with other teams, it would seem likely that he would have an offer for a long-term deal before any trade is made. From there, Johnson could bring the offer back to the Bears, who then would have an understanding of his market, and could offer a contract of their own.
Unfortunately, the Bears do not deserve that benefit of the doubt considering how general manager Ryan Poles botched the contract negotiations with Smith last season.