Jaylon Johnson Loves His Chicago Home, But Wants to Move into a Bigger One (Take the Hint, Bears)

Last week, we found ourselves discussing cornerback Jaylon Johnson as an extension candidate. We even threw some numbers around in terms of potential contract comps for Chicago’s top cornerback.

And during his Monday appearance on 670 The Score’s Parkins and Spiegel Show, Johnson was cleverly hinting that he would like to stick around and re-up with the Bears:

Ahem! Take the hint, Bears!

Johnson, 23, was a second-round pick by the Ryan Pace regime in 2020. Since arriving in the league, Johnson has established himself as a solid starter. Finding a three-year starter on Day 2 of the NFL Draft isn’t a given, so that is a win for the Bears in that regard. And a Pace-era find could be a win for new GM Ryan Poles if he decides Johnson is someone who should stay for the duration of this rebuild.

For what it’s worth, Johnson sounds ready to start extension negotiations. Per Chris Emma at Marquee Sports Network:

For his part, Johnson is eager to start up those negotiations — and hopeful he can stay in Chicago for the long term. 

“Oh, 100%,” Johnson said. “I hope they feel the same way about me. We’ll see. It will be a crazy situation to be in different colors than orange and blue. I’m just looking forward to hopefully having that extension and carrying something on and continuing to be a Bear throughout my career.” 

A good player who wants an extension and is eager to get negotiations started makes me feel like this should be a quick and painless process. Then again, that would’ve been a logical line of thinking during the Roquan Smith situation. And we all know how that turned out. Then again, there is precedent for a quick extension. Remember how quickly Eddie Jackson’s deal came about after the 2019 season? Ideally, Johnson’s negotiations would be similar to Jackson’s and not nearly as cantankerous as the Roquan Smith negotiations were.

It Won’t Be Easy, But…

The Bears *SHOULD* want to keep Johnson as much as Johnson wants to stay. Feelings should be mutual between the two sides. Unfortunately, putting together a Johnson extension isn’t as cut-and-dry as you’d probably like it to be. Johnson has missed time in each of his first three seasons as a pro. He was out for three games (four, if you count the playoff loss) as a rookie in 2020. A year later, Johnson set a career-best in games played with 15 — but still sat two games. And in 2022, Johnson has already been out of action for three games due to injuries. The durability has been a real concern. But when he is healthy and available, Johnson is the type of cornerback you want on that island and leading this defense. Off the field, Johnson being the Bears’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award speaks volumes.

In the end, there are plenty of reasons to want to extend Johnson. But there are real concerns that need to be part of the discussion before putting pen to paper. Hopefully, we’ll get clarity quickly for these Bears.

You can watch Johnson’s entire conversation with the Parkins and Spiegel Show below:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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