Details behind Jaylon Johnson’s massive deal with Chicago Bears emerge

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears reportedly are signing cornerback Jaylon Johnson to a massive new deal, making him one of the highest-paid corners in the NFL.

Johnson will receive $43.8 million guaranteed at signing and $76 million total over a four-year deal. The contract gives $28 million in cash to him in the first year of his deal, which is second among corners in the NFL.

The new deal is well deserved for Johnson, a former second-round pick who earned the first All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections of his career in the 2023 season.

The Bears are looking to build a young defense around Johnson and Montez Sweat, who the team acquired in a trade with the Washington Commanders last season. Sweat signed a four-year, $98 million contract with the Bears that should keep him with the team for quite some time.

The team also signed linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to a major four-year deal, giving the team cornerstones at each level of the defense for years to come.

Chicago made sure that Johnson didn’t leave the franchise in free agency, placing the franchise tag on him before finalizing his new deal on Thursday.

Johnson, 24, started all 14 games that he appeared in for the Bears last season and recorded a career-high four interceptions in the process.

Over his first four NFL seasons, Johnson has recorded 161 combined tackles, four tackles for loss, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He’s started all 53 games that he’s appeared in for Chicago.

The Bears are hoping that the team can contend for a playoff spot in the NFC in the 2024 season. Chicago has the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and the team could take a quarterback like University of Southern California star Caleb Williams.

The team would likely move on from young quarterback Justin Fields if it were to use the first selection on a quarterback, which could net the team further draft capital – or players – to improve the roster in the 2024 season and beyond.

Johnson’s new deal will allow him to hit free agency again when he is 28 years old, giving him another chance to get paid as a top corner if he still is playing at a high level.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.