Chicago Bears second-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson was fined $2,745.00 by the team for being late to practice on October 19. Johnson let the public know this when he shared an image of the letter notifying him of his fine on his Instagram page.
The letter, which was written and signed by Bears head coach Matt Nagy that same day, also warned Johnson more fines would be coming if he was late again. “Please note that repeated violations of the same offense may result in escalated fine amounts, or discipline for Conduct Detrimental to the Club which may include the maximum fine amounts and/or suspension without pay as set forth in the Club Discipline Schedule,” the letter read.
Clearly, Johnson wasn’t happy about it. “This shii crazy, bro,” Jackson wrote, implying he was just a minute late to practice. “Walked in as it turned 8:16 and they tax me like this.”
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Does Johnson’s Post Mean Nagy Has Lost the Locker Room?
No, but it’s not a good sign by any means. Players are fined with stunning regularity in the NFL for being late — it’s kind of the status quo. The issue here is that Jackson went public with a letter given to him by his head coach that was clearly meant to be kept internal. Nagy may not have lost the locker room, but when players put their coaches on blast, it doesn’t really bode well.
Johnson has had a solid start to his sophomore season in the league. With veteran Kyle Fuller being a salary cap casualty this offseason, he has become the team’s top corner, shadowing opponents’ best receivers all year. Johnson has six PDs, and interception, and he has allowed opposing QBs a 60.0 passer rating when targeting him through the first six games this season.
He is considered to be one of the bright young defensive stars on the team, and one of its core building blocks. It remains to be seen if the second-year CB will see further disciplinary action for making a private team matter public. It should also be asked: Was it a good idea for Nagy to fine his best corner for being literally one minute late? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s fair to question what something like that might do for team morale.
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Nagy Was Notified By the Media About Johnson’s Social Media Activity
When meeting with the media before practice on October 20, Nagy was asked about Johnson sharing the fine letter, and the Bears coach said it was the first he had heard of it.
“Well, that’s news to me,” Nagy said when he was asked about Johnson posting the letter on Instagram, per Adam Jahns of The Athletic. “But at the same point in time, I’ll be able to talk to him and see what that’s all about. But Jaylon’s been doing great. Again, for what it is and where we’re at, I’ll be able to discuss it with him.”
The Bears have Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers up next, so they can ill afford any team drama now. We’ll see how it all plays out.