LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Bears have signed one of their defensive players to a contract extension on Thursday.

But it’s not cornerback Jaylon Johnson, as so many people are hoping will happen, but instead, a lineman who is in the midst of his first season with the Bears.

The Bears have signed defensive tackle Andrew Billings to a two-year contract extension that will keep him in Chicago through the 2025 season. He signed a one-year deal before the 2023 season and has been steady in the middle of the defensive line in the first eight games of the season.

“We’re extremely excited to be able to keep Andrew in Chicago,” said general manager Ryan Poles in a statement from the team. “The professionalism, dependability, and toughness he brings to our defense exhibit the type of player we want in our organization.”

In his sixth NFL season, Billings has started all eight games, making 14 tackles with three for loss and a quarterback hit. He’s been a key to one improvement the Bears have made during a difficult 2023 season as the team is allowing just 78.8 rushing yards per game – the third-best in the NFL.

Last season, the Bears were 31st in the league in that category, allowing 157.3 yards per game on the ground.

Billings came to Chicago after spending the 2022 season with the Raiders, spending his first three seasons with the Bengals (2017-2019) and a year in Cleveland (2021).