4 Chicago Bears free agents most likely to return in 2024

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The Chicago Bears have plenty of decisions to make on free agents as the period is going to open in a couple of weeks. While the team is most likely going to move on from the majority of their free agents, there are going to be a few that they would like to retain. Which Bears are most likely to be back next year?

4. The Chicago Bears will not let Jaylon Johnson leave in free agency

There is one player that the Chicago Bears simply will not let Jaylon Johnson, leave in free agency. Whether it be the franchise tag or an extension, the Bears will not let him onto the open market. Now, there is one scenario where he does not return to the Bears. However, that would be with the team franchise tagging him and then trading him. 

Still, it starts with the tag and him not hitting the market. The two more likely options would be Johnson getting tagged and staying with the team or Johnson signing an extension before or after getting tagged. 

Johnson entered the year with questions about his value and how much he would earn on an extension. However, a second-team All-Pro honor meant that the Bears were going to have to pay him elite money. 

The franchise tag is the worst case for both sides but also the most likely. That is because if the two sides do not come together, it is what has to happen. Johnson will hold out for every last dollar and will want the most guaranteed money. The Bears will be saying that Johnson only did it for one year, and while he deserves top-five money, it cannot be franchise-changing money. 

So, the Bears will tag him, which Johnson will not like because it does not bring long-term money, and the Bears will not love it because it ties up their cap space without the chance to push it into further years.