Jaylon Johnson

Why Jaylon Johnson isn't worried about Bears contract situation

Jaylon Johnson knows with winning comes the contract he desires

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jaylon Johnson's absence from the first two weeks of Bears OTAs had nothing to do with the supposed elephant in the room at Halas Hall.

The fourth-year cornerback is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and some assumed his absence was because he and the Bears had not yet come to an agreement on a contract extension. But Johnson's absence from the voluntary workout had nothing to do with his contract status, which Johnson claims isn't an issue at the front of his mind.

"For me, I don't have to do too much," Johnson said Wednesday when asked about his approach to extension talks. "I just go out and continue to be who I am, continue to be the player I am, keep getting better, keep finding ways to improve my game. And really, just find ways to win. For me, I'm not too worried about it. Of course, the contract and stuff, there are gonna be talks, there are gonna be some things that get brought up. But at the end of the day, that's above me to an extent. Just trying to stay focused and keep the main thing the main thing. And when that comes up, handle that situation when it comes.”

Johnson is currently "transitioning" between agents but plans to have new representation soon. The cornerback doesn't have a timetable in mind for when a long-term deal with the Bears will be secured. Whenever that happens, it happens.

"I haven't really thought about it," Johnson said. "I'm not worried about that. I'm not worried about the timing of it. God's will will happen. I think if it's before, during, whenever it is — I'm not stressed about it. I'm not putting too much pressure on. At the end of the day, it's really above me at this point."

Last offseason, linebacker Roquan Smith was in a similar position to Johnson. Smith and the Bears couldn't find common ground on a new deal and Smith was eventually traded to the Baltimore Ravens.

To Johnson, Smith's situation has no bearing on his future in Chicago.

“His situation is different than my situation," Johnson said. "It's Roquan Smith at the end of the day. But I'm not him, he's not me. My timing is different than his timing. I'm not too caught up in that.”

As to why he was absent for the first two weeks of OTAs, Johnson told the Bears he was spending time with his 3-year-old daughter, who lives in California.

"At the end of the day, everybody knows I have a 3-year-old daughter back at home in California, and I'm a dad before I'm anything else," Johnson said. "Before I'm a football player, before I'm anything. I'm a dad first. I don't get to spend too much time with her during the season because she's back at home in California. Me in the offseason, I take pride in being a dad. I'm not just any old type of dad that just comes and sees their kid. I'm present. I'm spending time. I'm putting my heart into my daughter. When it comes to the offseason, I take that serious. I communicated that to the coaches and they understood and hopefully respected it.

"At the end of the day, I'm gonna be there for my daughter because they can find another corner. My daughter can't find another dad. I take pride in that."

Johnson kept the Bears in the loop about his absence and the timetable for his return. He communicated with cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke multiple times per week and kept in touch with his teammates.

Johnson returns to Halas Hall focused on putting more notches in the win column next season. The rest will take care of itself.

"One-hundred percent," Johnson said when asked if he wanted to get a deal done with the Bears. "I look forward to staying and extending with the Bears."

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