Of all of the Ryan Pace Chicago Bears due to get an extension this offseason Jaylon Johnson may be the most interesting. He probably has the highest highs on tape, and the highest upside moving forward. However, he also has just enough flaws in his game that may make the team hesitant about where he stands in their future plans.
The Chicago Bears may try to get an extension done this offseason, but if they do not, there will be specific things the team is looking for to see if he is worth the deal. If he does sign an extension, this is what fans should want to see to show he has taken a step forward.
3. The Chicago Bears need more interceptions from Jaylon Johnson
It is not hard to read his stats and see one glaring number. Jaylon Johnson has just one interception in his NFL career. It came during the 2021 season, and two of his three years have been blanked out in that regard.
We recently looked into players who are in a price range of contracts that may end up similar to Jaylon Johnson. What we saw is that he is well below all of these names in interception rate. He gets a pick on 0.53% of his targets. For comparison, Charvarius Ward is at 1.28%, Carlton Davis is at 1.58%, DJ Reed is at 2.12%, Jamel Dean is at 2.46%, Cam Sutton is at 2.95%, and JC Jackson is at 7.49%.
Jaylon Johnson is going to point at these names and say he wants a contract like them. The Chicago Bears are going to point and say that they all have an interception rate nearly twice as high.
What is interesting about Johnson is that he does appear to be ball aware. He has a forced incompletion rate of 14.2% in his career. This is a better rate than any of the names mentioned above. Last season he had the same forced incompletion rate as Jalen Ramsey, and Ramsey had four picks.
So, it is not for the lack of getting his hands on the football. It is just about bringing the ball in and securing the catch. This is important for Johnson and would increase his value substantially. The difference between an incomplete pass and a new down, and a turnover that gives your team the ball is major. Teams pay big money for players who can bridge that gap.
The Chicago Bears have not seen Johnson take that step, and it is why they will offer him lower than top-tier cornerback money.