Bears place franchise tag on Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears placed the franchise tag on cornerback Jaylon Johnson on Tuesday after he made his first Pro Bowl in the final season of his rookie contract.

Johnson would earn $19.8 million in 2024 if he doesn't agree to a multiyear deal before the July 15 deadline. He has said he wants to remain with the Bears.

Johnson, who turns 25 in April, had four interceptions last season after picking off one pass in his first three years. He was named a second-team All-Pro.

General manager Ryan Poles said at the combine last week that the Bears made a “strong” offer.

“That means cash flows are strong, guarantees are strong, the term is strong for him; being with his age, there’s a really good opportunity to go back to the market again and continue to earn money and play well and hopefully that’s with the Bears for a long period of time, so I’m excited about that,” Poles said.

Poles thought the sides were close to a contract extension after an Oct. 29 meeting in Los Angeles, where the Bears played the Chargers. That changed the next day when Johnson’s representatives said they wanted to explore a trade. Johnson was given the chance to shop around before the Oct. 31 deadline and was surprised at the time that he didn’t get dealt.

Johnson probably helped his bargaining position as the season wore on, with four interceptions in his final 10 games. He had one pick in his first 43 career games.

Chicago finished 7-10 last season. The Bears have the No. 1 and No. 9 overall picks in the draft next month.