It's that time of year in the NFL. The trade deadline is exactly two weeks away.
Seeing as the Bears have one win to this point, it's natural to believe they could be in discussions to retool their roster. That means looking at names, as well as shopping them.
Jaylon Johnson, in particular, is an intriguing name who doesn't have a contract past this season.
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Has he realized he could be traded away from the Bears in the next couple of weeks?
"100 percent. I'd be a fool if I didn't. I'm not oblivious. I'm not blind. I'm not exempt at the end of the day," Johnson said on 670 the Score with Parkins & Spiegel. "If you can trade Roqun [Smith] away, you could trade Robert Quinn away, man, you can trade anybody away.
"At the end of the day, the Bears gotta do what's best for them. I gotta do what's best for me... Of course, I've been saying from Day 1 I want to stay here. This is my first team, my home. I bought a house here. All my plans were to stay in Chicago. At the end of the day, it's not about feelings, it's not about what I want. For me, it's continue to go out there, put great film on tape. And shoot, really whatever happens after that happens."
According to a report from ESPN's Courtney Cronin, the Bears have used Johnson's and Eddie Jackson's names to test the market before the deadline approaches. Using both veterans could serve as a solid litmus test for how the Bears should operate at the deadline.
The Bears and Johnson did not agree to the rookie extension he was eligible for before the season. Same with Darnell Mooney. The Bears did, however, ink Cole Kmet to a four-year deal worth $50 million before the season started.
Johnson's nebulous status with the Bears doesn't mean he's performing poorly. In fact, in the four games Johnson's played this season, he's allowed a 52.9% completion percentage to his assignments --- the lowest mark of his career. His 9.9 yards allowed per completion is also the lowest mark by a large margin.
Simply, the Bears must ask themselves --- do they see Johnson as part of their team long-term? If they don't, it makes sense for them to trade Johnson at the deadline and capitalize on his value.
There's a solid chance, however, the Bears decide they want to keep the 24-year-old cornerback. But, as Johnson mentioned, your on-field merit doesn't earn you a spot. It didn't earn Roquan Smith a future with the Bears.
Ergo, it's an unpredictable time for NFL players. And Johnson's fully aware of what's at stake.
"I think [Darnell] Mooney said it best ... 'You'll know where you're at past November 1,'" Johnson said.