The Chicago Bears are heading for a tough decision with cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
With three years in Chicago, Johnson, 23, needs an extension to stay with the Bears beyond 2023.
But is he worthy of an extension next season?
Reasons to give Johnson an offseason extension
Although the young corner is not known as an interception machine, he is a solid covering cornerback.
He went against elite receivers in men’s coverage and did well against those players.
Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Johnson played well. Gordon is an excellent tackler and has a good feel for zone coverage. Johnson is really good at covering men. The PFF scores were:
— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) December 19, 2022
Finding a corner that can track receivers into men’s coverage is a challenge.
However, Johnson is showing what a solid choice he is when it comes to covering a man against teams.
But there are some concerns about his extension in the offseason.
Durability, lack of interceptions a concern for Johnson
With Johnson leaving for the IR to complete this season, sustainability is a concern for his contract extension.
With him missing several games this season, this may hurt his chances of overtime.
However, his career total of one interception in three seasons with the Bears also hurts him.
The Bears need someone who can stay healthy and force turnovers.
Johnson failing to do so, the team could choose to wait until 2024 to decide whether to extend it.
Johnson is worth keeping, but not at a premium
With three seasons under his belt as a starting cornerback, Johnson should have better numbers than he has now.
While he’s capable of deflecting passes, he doesn’t make game-changing turnovers.
For that reason, the Bears should only keep him if he’s not asking for a bounty to stay with the team.