Franchise tag deadline: Will the Bears use it on Jaylon Johnson?

The NFL’s franchise tag window officially closes Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT, where the Chicago Bears have to decide whether to use the tag on star cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

Johnson is coming off a career season and his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods. He established himself as one of the NFL’s best cover cornerbacks, totaling a career-high four interceptions, 36 tackles and 10 pass breakups in 14 games.

General manager Ryan Poles made it clear that Johnson isn’t going anywhere in 2024. Essentially, that means Chicago is aiming to sign him to a long-term deal with the flexibility of the franchise tag to allow for additional negotiation time.

Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Poles told reporters they were in the process of getting a contract extension done for Johnson, where conversations were going well and he sounded optimistic about getting a deal in place.

Teams that utilize a tag have until mid-July to work out a long-term deal with a player. If there is no deal agreed upon, the player will play out the 2024 season on that one-year tag.

For Johnson, the franchise tag would pay him $19.8 million, the average of the top five salaries at his position.

At this point, the expectation is the Bears will use the franchise tag on Johnson to further negotiations with the hope of getting a long-term deal done. We’ll see if Chicago can manage to get a deal done before the 3 p.m. CT deadline.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire