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Potential Steelers FA CB Target Jaylon Johnson Signs Long-Term with Bears



Steelers Bears CB Jaylon Johnson

A potential Steelers cornerback free agent signing is off the board. Even though it was a long shot for Pittsburgh.

Chicago Bears Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson is staying in the Windy City. The Bears and Johnson are finalizing a four-year, $76 million new contract that makes him one of the game’s highest paid at his position, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network

Chicago placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on Johnson on Tuesday, but the star cornerback is now locked up long term. The one-year tag tender for a cornerback is slotted at $19.8 million.

The Steelers expressed interest in Johnson at the trade deadline. They were in on him until the last minute, pulling back only because they could not agree on draft compensation with Chicago. Bears general manager Ryan Poles at the NFL Combine expressed a desire to extend Johnson.

“Cash flows are strong. Guarantees are strong. The term is ‘strong’ for him,” Poles said about Johnson. “At his age, there’s a really good opportunity for him to go back to the market again and continue to earn money and play well, and hopefully that’s with the Bears for a long period of time. I think there is really good space for us to find the middle ground. Again, we always have the tag to use. But I really would like to get something done long term. We feel like we’ve done a really good job of coming to the table strong, showing him the respect that he’s due in terms of his production through his career and really with an emphasis on the turnovers he created this past year. Our expectation is that is going to continue to go as he is with the Bears.”

At the Pro Bowl, Johnson detailed where his mindset was this offseason and what he will look for in a new contract.

“Heart’s definitely in Chicago, mind’s definitely on the money,” Johnson told at Saturday’s Pro Bowl practice. “So, I mean, we’ll figure out if we can make them both come together and get something done. I’m looking forward to see what’s to come.”

The fourth-year-pro drew a strong market on the trade market, with the Steelers among four teams that reportedly showed a persistent interest in Johnson. The San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles were also in on the conversations surrounding the 24-year-old.

Johnson was the No. 50 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the fourth-year pro had a career season. He shot his value up throughout the season and is now highly compensated.