Raiders Listed as Landing Spot for Star CB Seeking ‘Mega-Contract’

Jaylon Johnson could be a target of Raiders free agency.

Getty Jaylon Johnson could be a target of Raiders free agency.

Over the course of this Raiders offseason, the quarterback position is likely to attract the most attention, and there are a few tools—trading, the draft, free agency—the team could use to address that problem. There’s also the potential for a Davante Adams trade, though momentum for that possibility appears to have tapered. But what does not get talked about enough is how Raiders free agency could bolster an ever-improving defense.

Because though the D showed promise as last year progressed, there are still holes, on the interior up front but maybe most noticeably, in the secondary.

If the Raiders play their cards right, according to the NFL-expert site The 33rd Team, they could come away a player the site says is lined up for one of the season’s “mega-contracts”: Bears star cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

Cornerback Spot Could Be Addressed in Raiders Free Agency

Former NFL GM Jeff Diamond wrote recently about the players who are most likely to land “this year’s mega-contracts” and has Johnson pegged as a four-year, $80 million player, though he favors Johnson re-signing with the Bears despite rocky negotiations on an extension between the two sides last year. But if he leaves Chicago, 33rd Team has the Raiders among the favored destinations.

Johnson earned his first Pro Bowl selection in 2023, when he played 14 games and had four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown—against the Raiders, no less. He had 10 passes defensed last year, and after giving up a quarterback rating of 94.6 last year when the man he was covering was targeted, Johnson slashed that nearly in half this year, allowing a rating of 50.9.

Pro Football Focus gave him a grade of 90.7 this season, which was No. 1 among all 127 graded cornerbacks.

PFF has Johnson as the No. 9 overall free agent on the board this offseason, and wrote of him, “Johnson wasn’t quite able to have the third-year breakout in 2022 he hoped for as nagging injuries kept him off the field for several stretches, and he and the team were unable to find common ground on an early extension. … The physical, technically sound wide cornerback boasts ball production and lockdown coverage abilities that prevent targets as well as anyone, never allowing a 60% completion rate in any NFL season thus far.”

Jaylon Johnson Expected to Earn $15-20 Million Per Year

Johnson will not come cheap for the Raiders, as Diamond notes. There is a chance, as PFF highlights, that the Bears could keep him on a one-year franchise tag, at about $19 million for one season, but Johnson has been clear that he wants a long-term deal. His preference has been to stay with the Bears, but the question is whether Chicago will pay him, or if someone else—like the Raiders, for example—comes in with a sweeter deal.

Spotrac places his market value at $15.7 million per year, and projects him getting a five-year, $79 million deal if he hits free agency.

Johnson has made clear that, despite having made a trade request last October, he prefers to remain with the Bears. But he also made clear that he is open for business.

“Heart’s definitely in Chicago, mind’s definitely on the money,” Johnson told this month. “So, I mean, we’ll figure out if we can make them both come together and get something done. I’m looking forward to see what’s to come.”





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