Jaylon Johnson contract details, grade: Bears extend pivotal defensive piece

The Chicago Bears made the wise decision to retain one of their best players in defensive back Jaylon Johnson on a big contract extension

Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears defensive back Jaylon Johnson (33) steps in
Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears defensive back Jaylon Johnson (33) steps in / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylon Johnson was once a second -ound steal for the Chicago Bears, and over his tenure in the Windy City, he has shown why he deserved an extension. Until this past season, the lack of interceptions was a concern.

Yet, Johnson further established himself as one of the best young corners in the league. And his consistency, health, and impact were all key reasons for the Bears front office and general manager Ryan Poles to offer a nice extension to No. 33.

Jaylon Johnson contract details: Star CB extended with Bears

Johnson and the Bears finalized a four-year, $76 million contract on Thursday, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, making the former Utah superstar one of the game’s highest-paid at his position. This past year, Johnson finished the season with 31 tackles and a career-high four interceptions, including a notable pick-six against the Las Vegas Raiders. He was also named to the Pro Bowl.

With this deal, the Bears have at least one cornerback locked in for the foreseeable future as they continue to build their roster. The question now is, will they stick with Tyrique Stevenson at the other slot or move Stevenson to safety to fill the hole left by Eddie Jackson and add another cornerback in the draft to fill in on the outside while Kyler Gordon works as a slot cornerback?

Jaylon Johnson contract grade: Did the Bears do things right?

With all the cap space the Bears had to work with, they had to spend it in some way, shape, or form. The best thing to do with it is to ensure that the money is used on the best players on the team, and at this point, an argument could be made that Jaylon Johnson is among the top three players currently on the Chicago roster.

Having said that, one breakout season to earn the kind of money that Johnson earned may be a bit puzzling. Still, given what the NFL is like today, if you don't have a good secondary, quarterbacks will pick you apart left and right. Elite trench play and elite secondary play are still enough to stop high-flying offenses. The good news for the Bears is that the next few contracts are not going to be as pricey, meaning more reinforcements should be on the way, provided Ryan Poles spends at the right spots.

Bears grade: A-

2024 NFL Draft. 2024 NFL Draft, Full 3-round mock draft post-Combine. Full 3-round mock draft post-Combine. dark