The Chicago Bears will be in an interesting spot this season when it comes to Jaylon Johnson and his contract extension discussions. Players of his caliber do not make it to free agency often, but there may be reason for both sides to wait this one out.
Why Chicago Bears may want to wait before offering Jaylon Johnson a contract
The Chicago Bears would probably like to extend Jaylon Johnson, even after drafting Tyrique Stevenson and Terell Smith. If Johnson, Stevenson, Kyler Gordon, and Smith were the top four moving forward they could feel good about the room.
The question for both sides will be what the price range. For Johnson, he was clearly the number one cornerback on their roster last season. Teams purposefully avoided him to pick on the other options and had success.
So, by definition, he probably will want high-end money, or near number one type of money. However, when you compare him to guys such as Cameron Sutton and Charvarius Ward, he gives up more yards, and touchdowns and he gets fewer interceptions.
Beyond that, Jaylon Johnson has drastic splits between playing in zone and man. He is not very good in man, but he does live up to his name as a high-end cornerback when he gets to play zone coverage. Still, how do you pay for that?
One thing that helps is that the scheme Matt Eberflus runs is zone heavy. Still, teams will not be lining up the door to pay him if they play man a lot and that will limit his suitors.
So, Jaylon Johnson has a case to make that he needs to be paid like a number one, the Chicago Bears make the case that he is much closer to an average number two. It may take a season for both sides to come together on a consensus value.
First, a second season in the system has to go a long way. Beyond that, he will have a chance to make more plays on the ball. The thought is that he will be joined by a better group of cornerbacks, and a bit of a better pass rush. He could see more targets with more chances to make plays on the ball.
For Jaylon Johnson, not accepting an extension gives him a chance to raise his value heading into the offseason. For the Chicago Bears, if they do want to give Johnson a decent-sized extension they probably would feel better about it knowing that he put in another solid season with Eberflus.
We will see if the sides can come together, but for now, it may be a case where they both head to the season ready to see what happens next.