Chicago Bears: Which potential free agents should go and which should stay?

The Chicago Bears have several potential free agents. Here is who should stay and who should be let go.

Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns
Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Keep: Jaylon Johnson, Cornerback

If the Chicago Bears have only one player to re-sign and let everyone else go that player needs to be Jaylon Johnson. Johnson had a career year in 2023. Opposing quarterbacks only completed 55.2 percent of their passes when targeting him. He had 4 interceptions, allowed 4.8 yards per target, and gave up just 2 touchdowns.
Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl and was a second team All-Pro.

Johnson and the Bears had a turbulent time negotiating a new contract. They were unable to agree on terms. It was so bad that he requested a trade at the deadline. Poles granted the request but there wasn't a deal to be made.

As the season progressed, it seems that Johnson softened his stance on playing somewhere else. He expressed his desire to stay in Chicago. Poles and the Bears have to make sure that happens. Poles has the franchise tag to use, but that should only be worst-case scenario.

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The Bears are forming a very formidable cornerback unit. In addition to Johnson, they have Kyler Gordon and Tyrique Stevenson. They even have Terell Smith, a reserve who can start for some teams. They have a young, tough, and athletic core who can wreak havoc. This is a passing league so it is important to have a good secondary. The Bears' secondary need to keep Johnson.