Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson was as skeptical as he was hopeful Thursday about signing a contract extension with the Bears prior to the Oct. 31 NFL trade deadline.
“We’re gonna see by the end of the week,” Johnson said. “If I happen to get traded, I get traded. If not, I get extended, hopefully. And if not, then I just gotta continue to play. There’s plenty of options this can go. But we’re all gonna see. I’m waiting to see as well.”
Johnson is in the final year of his four-year rookie contract and has been trying to negotiate a deal with the Bears since the offseason. He rates as one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. But he’s not in the highest tier with players like the Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs, who had 17 interceptions in his first three seasons and signed a five-year, $97 million contract with $42 million guaranteed. Johnson has three career interceptions — two of them against the Raiders last Sunday.
Johnson said he was looking for “security and respect” in a new deal. But both sides can have different ideas of what respect is.
“It’s not just about taking anything,” Johnson said. “You can throw some numbers at somebody and just hope they take anything. But that’s not what I’m looking to do. I’m looking for respect and security.”
Johnson hinted that the Bears have indicated to him that he would not be traded. But he was skeptical about that.
“We’re gonna see by the 31st,” he said when asked if he thought it was more likely he would be extended or traded. “I’m waiting to see, because someone can say one thing and you believe it and then something else happens. I don’t believe … hardly anything. I’m going off actions.”
Asked if he was happy with the way negotiations have gone, Johnson said, “I feel like it’s been slower that what I would have expected. Of course, I wanted it [done] as early as possible — heading into the season. But [I’m] not really caught up in how I wanted it. Jut hopefully it plays out the way it needs to.”