Bears corner Jaylon Johnson may have one foot out the door all thanks to Ryan Poles
Ryan Poles and his lack of urgency when it comes to extending players may have cost the Bears once again.
Contract negotiations between the Bears and Jaylon Johnson stalled just before the trade deadline. Johnson then requested a trade. The trade deadline has come and gone and Johnson was not traded.
Johnson will stay with the Bears for the rest of the 2023 season. On the other hand, his time in Chicago going forward is now in question.
FS1 host and Senior NFL insider with CBS Sports Josina Anderson posted more details on the Jaylon Johnson situation on Twitter.
Extra tidbits on #Bears CB Jaylon Johnson:
A trade to send the #Bears corner is not getting done today, and I'm told that Johnson does not plan to engage in contract extension talks for the rest of the season.
Johnson intends to be a pro about the situation and planned for the…
— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 31, 2023
Why this is such a big deal
Jaylon Johnson has emerged as a star cornerback, one of the better defense backs in the NFL. Superbowl contending teams like the 49ers and Eagles called about Johnson. He is the real deal, but Ryan Poles doesn’t seem to care.
Johnson has ended contract discussions for the season. And if an agreement can’t be made, the Bears could lose a star player for nothing. Johnson will enter free agency and the Bears will get nothing in return.
An extension could be agreed upon once the season ends. The most likely scenario though is Johnson getting placed under the franchise tag. This is a one-year non-negotiable contract. Each NFL team can do this once per off season.
According to The Athletic, the salary for a player on an exclusive tag is whichever of the following two numbers is higher: the average of the five largest salaries at the player’s position that year, or 120% of the player’s salary from the previous year.
Getting franchise tagged usually doesn’t make a player happy. They don’t get the long term stability they desire and the pay is usually less than what they wanted.
Making a player like Johnson upset is not good. It isn’t easy to find defensive backs of his ability in the NFL. His long term future as a Bear is now in question.
Refusing to extend players is nothing new for Ryan Poles
Roquan Smith was the most recent victim of Ryan Poles unwillingness to pay players what they are worth. Since being traded, Smith who is still only 26-years-old has become a staple of a stingy Baltimore Ravens defense.
Smith was traded for 2023 second and fifth round draft picks. The second round pick was traded and the fifth round pick was used to draft linebacker Noah Sewell out of Oregon. Sewell has played 8 games this season, with a total of 6 tackles and 1 forced fumble. He has not exactly replaced Roquan Smith’s production.
Poles also let David Montgomery walk in 2023 free agency. Montgomery has gone on to succeed massively in Detroit this season. Emerging as the Lions lead running back. He has 6 touchdowns through 5 games.
Chicago is missing him right now as injuries pile up in the Bears backfield.
Overall Ryan Poles has mixed results as a GM
Poles has brought in Darnell Wright, Teven Jenkins, and DJ Moore. Those have all been good additions great even, as we have seen flashes of how good Moore can be. Jenkins and Wright are still maturing as offensive linemen, but have shown great things in their young NFL careers.
Ryan Poles also is responsible for trading a second round pick for Chase Claypool. Claypool is easily the biggest failure of Poles tenure.
Poles also refuses to fire Matt Eberflus and Luke Getsy, who continue to show they are not capable of turning this franchise around.
The Jaylon Johnson saga looks like it could evolve into another strike on Poles record. Losing a player of Johnson’s caliber for nothing cannot happen.
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