Ben Johnson keeps option of joining the Chicago Bears open

The Chicago Bears could be an incoming head coach's dream, and with Ben Johnson staying with the Lions, maybe he's keeping his options open.

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Chicago Bears decided to stick with Matt Eberflus as their head coach for the 2024-25 NFL season, and while that could be seen as a drag for Bears fans, one of the top offensive candidates decided he's not taking a head coaching job just yet.

The Chicago Bears could still land Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson, the offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions, was seen by many as a top head coaching candidate this round through. And while he was seen as a top candidate, he decided to finish business in Detroit.

The Detroit Lions were the fifth-highest scoring offense in the NFL, and that's two seasons following their 3-13-1 season. In the two seasons following that year, Ben Johnson was the offensive coordinator, and both seasons ended with a top-five offense in terms of scoring.

There's another NFC North team who could really use an offensive mastermind. Their name: The Chicago Bears. If the Chicago Bears' offense is the Yin, the Detroit Lions' offense is their Yang.

As far as how well an offense can perform, Ben Johnson is the conductor of an incredibly well-oiled machine.

2024 offensive stats

2024 offensive rank

461 points scored

5th

6,712 yards

3rd

375 first downs

5th

4,401 passing yards

2nd

30 passing TDs

4th

27 rushing TDs

1st

40.6% of drives ending in TDs

8th

35.8 net yards per drive

4th

2.44 net points per drive

4th

The list goes on and on, but the point remains the same: Ben Johnson is a very talented offensive coach.

With his decision to stay with the Lions, is this a move he's making to figure out which of the top QBs he'd prefer to work with?

Given his position with the Lions, he's not in a position where he has to go somewhere. The Lions' offense is a high-powered offense that he's familiar with. Leaving that for a worse position with not much to look forward to isn't the choice I'd make.

And neither did Ben Johnson.

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Maybe, just maybe, he's waiting to see how Caleb Williams — or Drake Maye — show out on the Chicago Bears before he ties himself down to a team.

As an offensive coach, it's hard not to want to potentially coach Caleb Williams/Drake Maye. And given the Chicago Bears don't have the roster of most teams holding the No. 1 pick throughout history, this could be a power play by Ben Johnson.