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The 2024 free agency class' top cornerback will not be reaching the open market. 

The Chicago Bears are expected to place the franchise tag on Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson on Tuesday, according to CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones. His one-year, fully-guaranteed contract for 2024 will be $19.8 million in the event the two sides cannot come to terms on a multi-year extension, something the Bears are working toward with Johnson.

The 24-year-old, who was a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Utah, earned Pro Football Focus' highest defensive grade among corners in 2023 (90.8), narrowly ahead of Dallas Cowboys All-Pro DaRon Bland (90.4) and New York Jets All-Pro Sauce Gardner (88.6). Johnson's 91.0 PFF coverage grade also led all corners, just ahead of Gardner (90.8) and Bland (89.9).

There were rumors that Chicago pondered dealing him at the 2023 trade deadline, but the Bears made a smart move to hold on to Johnson. He totaled a career-high four interceptions en route to garnering second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl accolades. 

Jaylon Johnson 2023 Season

NFL ranks as primary defender in coverage (minimum 50 passes)


Completion percentage allowed






Passer rating as primary defender in coverage



Since the Bears entered the offseason with $76.5 million in cap space, the fourth-most in the entire NFL, according to Spotrac, Johnson will likely be just the first of several splashy moves by a Chicago front office desperate to build a roster that could at least win the franchise's first playoff game since the 2010 season.