What are the Chicago Bears doing with cornerback Jaylon Johnson?

Are they going to re-sign or trade him?
Las Vegas Raiders v Chicago Bears
Las Vegas Raiders v Chicago Bears / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Chicago Bears cornerback, Jaylon Johnson is having another solid season in The Windy City. Don't believe me? The numbers don't lie.

Since being thrown into the starting role as a rookie, Johnson has improved every season and is one of the most underrated players in the game. But what's next for the lockdown corner?

The Bears only have two options. They can trade him for a cache of draft picks, or they can re-sign him and utilize him as the centerpiece of their rebuild.

If the Chicago Bears do end up trading Johnson, it would probably be to a contender like the Dallas Cowboys, who have been linked to Johnson by NFL.com and Sports Illustrated respectively.

While it might make sense at first to sell high and trade Johnson, it wouldn't be the best decision for the Bears organization. At 24 years old, Johnson hasn't even hit his prime yet and he's still playing lights out. Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently ranked him as the second best cornerback in the league. The Bears would regret trading him.

If Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles is smart, he should pay the man. He's arguably their best player under 25. He doesn't want out of Chicago and has expressed interest in wanting to re-sign with the team. If the Bears want to build something special in Chi-town, Johnson could be instrumental in the rebuild.

Cornerback is one of the toughest positions in football and if you find someone who can play, you find a way to keep them around. It would also be a solid move to keep the secondary of Johnson and safety Jaquan Brisker together.

Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy voiced his opinion on the matter on NBC Sports Chicago's "Under Center Podcast." Dungy was the first Black head coach to win the Super Bowl.

"I've never been one to say, 'We're going to get rid of good players and get what we want and rebuild,'" said Dungy, per NBC Sports Chicago. "If you've got a player that plays your style and you're comfortable with him, let's go forward and let's keep winning. And you never have enough corner people."

That's Hall of Fame advice.

Johnson's market value is projected at about $23 million over 3 years, per Spotrac -- a fair contract for both the Chicago Bears and Johnson. This would average $7.7 million a year. The contract would expire when Johnson's 27, so he could sign an even bigger contract when the time was right.

Poles is used to wheeling and dealing. In his short tenure as general manager, he's traded away players like Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith and brought in Chase Claypool. These trades have had mixed results while trading the No. 1 pick in last year's draft was his best trade so far.


A second-round pick from the 2020 draft, Johnson was handpicked by then-head coach Matt Nagy and helped the Bears reach their last playoff trip as a rookie. In 44 games, Johnson has racked up 140 tackles, three interceptions, and 34 passes defensed.