After another frustrating season, the Chicago Bears have some big decisions to make this offseason. They currently have two top-four picks in the upcoming draft (and five picks in the first four rounds). Additionally, they have $82.4 million (as of now) in salary cap space. Like last offseason, the team will have plenty of assets to make big moves.
There are a number of players who face big questions. Jaylon Johnson, a very good cornerback, feels he should get paid elite cornerback money. What does Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles feel about that? Additionally, D'Onta Foreman, who has played well and has been an integral part of the offense, will be a free agent. Finally, the team has a question on whether to pick up Justin Fields' fifth-year option.
The Chicago Bears have a decision looming on wide receiver Darnell Mooney. It seems, however, that the decision is already made.
Another player that requires a decision on is wide receiver Darnell Mooney. Mooney has been a fan favorite since the Bears drafted him in the fifth round of the 2020 draft. He had two very good seasons to start out, amassing 1,686 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns.
Last season was a rough one for Mooney. He suffered an injury and missed the last five games. He had 493 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite that, he still led all wide receivers and had the second-highest number of yards on the team (that should tell you how bad the wide receivers corps was).
After 11 games this season, Mooney has 345 yards and just one touchdown. He has the third-most catches with 23. However, in the last few games, he has not been targeted in key situations. In this past Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, he received just one target. He caught it for 24 yards. Additionally, he has had seven games in which he had two or fewer catches and three in which he had no catches.
Mooney has not been a big part of the offense. The last couple of seasons, he's been the team's best receiver. Now, DJ Moore is the top receiver. Also, with the Bears facing decisions, they have started to go more with rookie Tyler Scott.
It was a surprise that in that critical deep downfield pass that could have sealed the Bears' victory against the Lions, It was Scott who was on the field and the one the team targeted. The original target was Moore, but with him covered, the next target was Scott downfield.
That play seemed tailor-made for Mooney. We've seen him make that play over his career. It was peculiar that this time it went to Scott. Scott inexplicably slowed down and put himself out of position on the play and could not make the play.
With the two early picks in the draft, many people expect the Bears to select Marvin Harrison Jr. He appears to be one of the top wide receiver prospects in recent times, and pairing him with DJ Moore would be a dream for the Bears and whoever is the quarterback. If Chicago decided to keep Fields, giving him Harrison to go with Moore would bring a smile to his face.
The team wants to take a deeper look at Scott. In the first five games, Scott received five targets. In the next six, he has 15 of them, catching 7 (47 percent catch percentage).
It appears that Mooney's days in Chicago are numbered. If the Bears sign a free agent receiver, they may go elsewhere. He has a 58.9 percent catch percentage for the season and 60.6 percent for his career. The Bears will want someone who can give them a higher percentage than that. Despite being popular, the Chicago Bears are in rebuild mode and they might be ready to say goodbye to Mooney.