NFL insider suggests the Chicago Bears will get this deal done

Hope continues to be the tone of the Chicago Bears' contract talks with Jaylon Johnson.

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

While all the focus has been on what the Chicago Bears will do with the first spot in the 2024 NFL Draft, many believing they will take Caleb Williams, the Bears also have to make a decision on cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

The Bears have until March 5 to determine whether or not they are going to place the franchise tag on their Pro Bowl cornerback. The NFL announced on Friday that the 2024 salary cap will be set at $255.4MM, leaving the Bears with just over $80MM in available cap space this off-season.

The Bears decision recently to release safety Eddie Jackson and veteran offensive lineman cleared approximately $30MM in cap space for the team, paving the way for a potential contract extension for Johnson.

In a response to a fan on X, that suggested the Bears need Cubs' executive Jed Hoyer to step in and get an extension done with Johnson, NFL salary cap insider for Pro Football Focus Brad Spielberger was confident in saying that a Johnson extension would get done this off-season.

For the Bears, while there could be an appeal to kicking the can down the road another season in terms of paying Johnson on a long-term deal, it would make more sense to have the long-term cost certainty this off-season. Especially if the Bears do indeed take Caleb Williams in the draft and reset the quarterback clock, having Johnson's extension on the books will only further their flexibility for the next four seasons.

The process that is the eventual Johnson contract extension is following the blueprint for these situations across the NFL. It's the same blueprint that would have played out with Roquan Smith prior to negotiations taking a personal turn. It's clear that Ryan Poles has learned from that mistake and the progress in contract talks with Johnson is the biggest indicator of that.

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