The Chicago Bears have locked down a key piece of their secondary.

All-pro cornerback Jaylon Johnson has agreed to a four-year extension worth $76 million with $54.4 million guaranteed, via Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report:

“BREAKING: Jaylon Johnson deal is DONE, sources tell BR. 4 for 76M, 54.4 guaranteed. One of the best young players in football is secured in Chicago long-term.”

There was a possibility Johnson would be slapped with the franchise tag by the Bears but instead, they worked out a brand new deal that will keep him in the Windy City for the foreseeable future. With his new contract, Johnson becomes one of the highest-paid defensive backs in the league.

The Fresno, California native suited up 14 times last season, recording 36 total tackles and tallying four interceptions. The Bears placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Johnson earlier in the week but there was always optimism he'd put pen to paper, as GM Ryan Poles said at the Combine, per Salt Wire:

“I think there is really good space for us to find the middle ground. Again, we always have the tag to use, but I really would like to get something done long term,” Poles said.

Johnson is one of the best defenders around and undoubtedly deserves to be paid like one. Only four years into his career, the ex-Utah star is really coming into his own on this Bears team. He was selected 50th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by Chicago. Johnson played out the final year of his rookie contract in 23′ after failing to reach an agreement before the campaign.