Jaylon Johnson

Jaylon Johnson among 4 Bears players not present at OTAs

Contract negotiations can be tricky. Players must do what’s necessary to preserve their bodies while showing the team they’re fully invested in the upcoming season. For Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson, this week’s OTAs place him at the center of that dilemma.

Johnson was among four Bears players who aren’t participating in OTAs this week. Darnell Mooney, Eddie Jackson, and Nate Davis are the others. Mooney and Jackson are recovering from injury, while Davis got paid in free agency and is likely working out on his own.

Johnson, however, is different. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and is in line for a massive second deal. The Chicago Bears haven’t expressed much desire to get a contract done before the start of the season, making Johnson’s absence understandable.

Coach Matt Eberflus met with the media Tuesday and emphasized that players don’t have to attend OTAs.

Johnson, 24, has started 39 games during his three seasons in Chicago after joining the Bears as a second-round pick in 2020. Despite having only one career interception, he’s widely regarded as one of the top young cornerbacks in the NFC.

Kyler Gordon and rookie Tyrique Stevenson will join Jaylon Johnson at the top of the Bears’ cornerback depth chart. There’s a chance Johnson could choose to “hold in” during training camp if GM Ryan Poles doesn’t budge from his prove-it stance.

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