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Bears lock up Johnson to four-year, $76M deal

Jaylon Johnson Jaylon Johnson - Getty Images

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears and Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson agreed Thursday to a four-year, $76 million contract that guarantees him $54.4 million.

Two people familiar with the situation confirmed the financial terms of the deal, which was first reported by the NFL Network. The people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the terms were not announced.

“We’re extremely excited to be able to keep Jaylon here for the next four years,” general manager Ryan Poles said in a statement. “He’s an integral part of our defense and his leadership will help our team continue to ascend.”

The move comes two days after the Bears placed the franchise tag on Johnson. He would have been due $19.8 million in 2024 had he not agreed to the extension prior to the July 15 deadline. He had said he wanted to remain with the Bears.

Johnson, who turns 25 in April, had four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown last season after picking off one pass in his first three years. He had 10 passes defensed and forced one fumble and was selected second-team All-Pro.

The Bears' defense ranked 12th in the NFL despite struggling in the early going. Chicago was 25th against the pass.

Poles thought the sides were close to a contract extension after an Oct. 29 meeting in Los Angeles, where the Bears played the Chargers. That changed the next day when Johnson’s representatives said they wanted to explore a trade. Johnson was given the chance to shop around before the Oct. 31 deadline and was surprised at the time that he didn’t get dealt.

Johnson probably helped his bargaining position as the season went on with four interceptions in his final 10 games. He had one pick in his first 43 games.

Chicago finished 7-10 last season. The Bears have the No. 1 and No. 9 overall picks in the draft next month.