Roster Move: Bears place non-exclusive franchise tag on Jaylon Johnson

Roster Move: Bears place non-exclusive franchise tag on Jaylon Johnson

by - Correspondent -

With the deadline for teams to use their franchise tags being today, Chicago decided to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback Jaylon Johnson, extending the deadline for them to reach a long-term deal.

Under the franchise tag, Johnson is set to make $19,802,000 in 2024 unless they reach a long-term deal by July 15, 2024. Since they decided to use the non-exclusive franchise tag, other teams have the ability to make offers for Johnson. However, Chicago can match the deal. In the event another team makes an offer and Chicago chooses not to match it, they receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

The franchise tag on Johnson currently makes him the third-highest player on the team behind edge rusher Montez Sweat and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. It does appear that Chicago wants to keep Johnson and there were efforts throughout the season and the offseason in an attempt to negotiate a long-term contract with him, even allowing him to seek a trade during the season which allowed him to gauge the interest from other teams.

Nonetheless, given how long these contract negotiations have been going on, it appears Johnson wants more than $19.8 million. He expressed that he believes he has shown the talent to get paid as the No. 1 cornerback in the league. Measuring that by cap hit, he would have to surpass Dolphins’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey at $27,267,000. However, the bulk of that is through his roster bonus of $11 million; Ramsey’s base salary is over $5 million less than the franchise tag is worth.

Johnson is coming off his first Pro Bowl season where he was also named a second-team All-Pro. He had four interceptions this season, which ranked No. 7 in the league this year. The completion percentage of opposing quarterbacks was 55.2 percent, a career-low for him. Opposing quarterbacks also only had a quarterback rating of 50.9 when targeting him. In addition, Johnson only gave up two touchdowns this season and only one touchdown in 2022.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) gave Johnson the highest ranking out of any cornerback this season at 90.8, the only corner with a PFF grade above 90, perhaps showing he should be paid like a No. 1 cornerback since they have the cap space to do so with over $57.5 million in cap room left after giving him the franchise tag.

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