On the day of the NFL Trade Deadline, the Chicago Bears made a move as they shipped a 2024 second-round draft pick to the Washington Commanders for defensive end Montez Sweat.
The Bears have had a long-term need for a pass rusher and assuming the team can reach a contract extension with Sweat, the deal that the team made on Tuesday should be the first blocks of stability for a defensive unit that has been inconsistent over the past two seasons.
In an equally significant move on deadline day, the Bears did not trade cornerback Jaylon Johnson. Johnson was permitted to seek a trade on Tuesday morning but the Bears had a high asking price that no team was willing to meet.
Johnson is in the last year of his rookie deal and could reach free agency in March. Still, it is also worth noting that if the Bears are unable to get a contract extension with their primary cornerback, the team likely will apply the franchise tag before the new league year starts.
Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson has tabled contract negotiations with the team until the end of the season after not being traded.
If there is an extension between Johnson and the Bears, it will be constructed in the off-season as the cornerback will reportedly no longer be negotiating a contract in-season.
If we reach the point this off-season where Johnson and the Bears do agree on a contract extension, then we may look at Tuesday as an important part of that process. It’s possible that Johnson now has an understanding of the offers that would headed his way if he reaches free agency and the hope, for the Bears, is that it brings the two sides closer to a deal.