“It’s OK To Seek Help. It’s OK To Be Vulnerable” – Bears Star CB Jaylon Johnson Opens Up About Sex Addiction At Press Conference

Jaylon Johnson
Chicago Bears

Press conferences about incumbent players signing massive contract extensions aren’t usually the forum for hardball questions. It’s more of a collective celebration amongst the star player, affiliated media members and the team itself for retaining one of their homegrown talents.

In the case of Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson, he courageously took it upon himself to reveal his addiction to sex and how he successfully sought treatment to address the issue.

Johnson is fresh off signing a new four-year, $76 million deal. He didn’t owe anything to anyone. The No. 1 graded cornerback at PFF this past season nevertheless felt compelled to share his story so that anyone dealing with any type of addiction would feel less alone.

It’s a credit to Johnson’s mental fortitude that he was able to push through such a self-inflicted off-field distraction and play well enough to still earn a huge second contract. The 50th overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Utah has really made his mark in the NFL, and is now a key cornerstone on a Bears defense that played exceptionally well down the stretch of 2023. As exciting as it is for Chicago to be buyers on the free-agent market with big names like safety Kevin Byard and running back D’Andre Swift, GM Ryan Poles’ No. 1 priority this offseason before the draft was to lock up Johnson for the long haul.

Mission accomplished on that front.

But to cut back to Johnson’s personal story, it’s refreshing to see a professional athlete in the public eye share something like this. You can’t help but be impressed by how Johnson had the self-awareness to recognize that he had this addiction issue at 24 years old. Being a rising star in the NFL and making millions of dollars, he could’ve easily brushed it aside and continued to forge ahead. That mix of age, fame and professional success would be enough to get to anybody’s head to the point where nobody could tell them what to do. Although it’s an admittedly extreme example of that dangerous cocktail, just ask Johnny Manziel how all that can go with the wrong mindset.

With his big payday secured and a much better handle on his life outside the lines, it’s reasonable to assume Johnson could be even greater given the mindset he brings to the gridiron. He expounded upon that at great length in his Monday presser as well:

The way the Bears are spending cash this offseason is a strong indication that they will trade Justin Fields and take USC quarterback Caleb Williams No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. It’s a no-brainer decision for Poles and Chicago’s brass. They also have the ninth overall pick to play with, so they’ll add another premium prospect to pair with their probable new face of the franchise in Williams.

Other than the Chase Claypool trade, Poles has had quite a strong tenure as Bears GM thus far. Botching the QB situation after so many other good transactions, with Johnson’s extension being a notable highlight, would be such a bummer for Chicago sports in general. Regardless of who the QB is, though, Poles has now secured Montez Sweat, Tremaine Edmunds and Johnson as excellent leaders for all three levels of the defense. Exceptionally done.

Bears Ryan Poles

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock