LOCALS IN THE NFL

Bears CB Jaylon Johnson Opens Up About Addiction, Breakout Season

Mar 12, 2024, 1:49 PM

Jaylon Johnson addiction Chicago Bears Locals In The NFL Utah Utes Football...

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 22: Jaylon Johnson #33 of the Chicago Bears reacts after an interception during the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Soldier Field on October 22, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Football star and Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson had a breakout season in 2023 despite dealing with personal issues.

Following a big contract extension to stay in Chicago, Johnson opened up about his struggles.

“I went to therapy last season for sexual addiction,” Johnson said. “That is something nobody knew about.”

The former Ute said that the addiction didn’t have much of an effect on his play. He felt like making his problems known because everyone is going through their own things.

Johnson rebounded from a career-low 11 games in 2022 to register 36 total tackles, 31 solo tackles, one forced fumble, four interceptions, one touchdown, and 10 pass breakups across 14 games in 2023.

“Everybody was talking about playing football — that’s easy,” Johnson said. “Going out and seeing my therapist on an off day. That’s where I’m most uncomfortable.”

The fourth-year corner earned All-Pro Second Team recognition and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

The Bears were tied for the most interceptions in the NFL last season. Johnson was one of 24 players who reeled in four or more interceptions in 2023.

More About Jaylon Johson & The Bears

Johnson was drafted by the Bears in 2020 in the second round after a stellar final season with the Utes in 2019.

In 53 career games, the one-time Pro Bowler has five INTs, three forced fumbles, 160 tackles, and one touchdown.

Johnson, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, has reached an agreement with Chicago on a four-year deal as of March 7, 2024.

In the deal, Johnson will be paid $60 million through the first three years of the deal including $54 million guaranteed. By the time the deal is up, Johnson will be 28 years old and can try the market again.

Johnson made $3.5 million last season in the final year of his rookie contract.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Bears CB Jaylon Johnson Opens Up About Addiction, Breakout Season