Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Chicago Bears defensive back Jaylon Johnson (33) steps in front of Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams (17) to intercept a pass before returning the ball for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bears sign tagged CB Jaylon Johnson to $76M deal

Two days after the Bears used the franchise tag to keep him, cornerback Jaylon Johnson secured a $76 million deal to stay in Chicago, according to reports Thursday.

Once the signing is official, Johnson, 24, would become one of the highest-paid players at the position on a deal that would average $19 million per year and reportedly includes $54.4 million guaranteed.

The 2024 franchise tag would’ve guaranteed Johnson a one-year salary of $19.8 million. But general manager Ryan Poles said at the NFL Scouting Combine he felt the sides were extremely close to a long-term deal.

“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,” Poles said in Indianapolis.

A second-round pick in 2020, Johnson was the highest-rated cornerback in the NFL by Pro Football Focus in 2023, allowing a passer rating of 33.3 in more than 500 coverage snaps.

Talks that began more than a year ago included some acrimony.

Chicago’s track record of not setting the market rate at a position even when re-signing its own free agents led to trades in similar situations. When linebacker Roquan Smith demanded $20 million per year, the Bears blinked and traded him to the Baltimore Ravens.

Johnson and the Bears had been at odds since the trade deadline in October, when Poles granted the lockdown cornerback permission to seek a trade. Johnson was hoping for a new deal at the time but said ongoing talks were progressing “slower than expected.”

“At the end of the day, it goes back to respect as well,” Johnson said after the trade deadline passed last season. “You can throw some numbers at someone and hope they take anything. That’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m looking for respect and security.”

Only two cornerbacks average a salary higher than the franchise tender rate: Jaire Alexander of the Packers averages $21 million and Denzel Ward of the Browns is at $20.1 million.

Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was designated the franchise player of the Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders cornerback William Jackson III (3) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (25) during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Washington CB William Jackson out; Bears CB Jaylon Johnson in

Washington Commanders cornerback William Jackson III has been ruled out for Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears with a back injury.

Meanwhile, the Bears are getting back their top cornerback, Jaylon Johnson, for the game.

Jackson was listed as a full participant Monday, limited on Tuesday before a did not participate on Wednesday and being ruled out. The Commanders held a walkthrough Wednesday.

He’s one of six Commanders ruled out for the game, joining safety Percy Butler (quad), right tackle Sam Cosmi (finger), wideout Jahan Dotson (hamstring), running back Jonathan Williams (knee) and tight end Logan Thomas (calf). Receiver Dyami Brown (groin) is questionable.

Jackson signed a three-year, $40.5 million contract with Washington in March 2021. He has 16 tackles and two passes defensed in four starts this season. He missed Week 3 with a back injury.

Johnson has missed the last three Bears’ games with a quad injury suffered in practice on Sept. 22. He’s been a full participant in practice all week, albeit estimates, with the team holding walkthroughs. He does not carry an injury designation into the game.

Johnson started the first two games of the season and recorded four tackles and a forced fumble. He’s started all 30 games he’s played in for the Bears.

Bears safety Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) is questionable but was listed as a full participant all week.

Bears wide receiver N’Keal Harry also doesn’t carry an injury designation, though the team has yet to decide whether to place him on the active roster for Thursday night’s game. He began the season on injured reserve after having ankle surgery in August and was removed from IR earlier this week.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Green Bay, WI, USA;  Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) is upended by Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson (33) on a first down reception in the first quarter during their football game Sunday, November 29, 2020, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.  Mandatory Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY NETWORK

Bears rule out CB Johnson (shoulder), S Bush (foot)

The Chicago Bears ruled out a pair of key defensive backs for Sunday’s road game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson was downgraded because of a shoulder injury, while safety Deon Bush was ruled out because of a foot injury. Johnson has started all 13 games during his rookie season, while Bush has appeared in 10 games in a reserve role.

Chicago promoted defensive back Xavier Crawford from the practice squad to help fill the void. The Bears also restored linebacker Manti Te’o from the Reserve/COVID-19 list to the team’s practice squad.

The Bears (6-7) and Vikings (6-7) each are fighting for a chance to climb back to .500.

–Field Level Media