Chicago Bears: The rising cost of wide receivers is a blessing and a curse when it comes to DJ Moore

Wide receivers around the NFL are getting bigger contracts. That means the Chicago Bears have a bargain in DJ Moore. However, soon it will be time to pay him.
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles has been a busy man this offseason. He overhauled the offense, bringing in new faces with more talent, This is now a team that can move the ball and put up many points on the board.

One of the areas on the offense that is greatly improved is wide receiver. Aside from DJ Moore, the unit struggled to catch the ball. Moore had a catch percentage of 70.6 percent in 2023. The rest of the receivers combined for 50.2 percent.

With the price of wide receivers in the NFL exploding, the Chicago Bears have a deal with DJ Moore. The time is quickly arriving, however, when the team needs to pony up and pay him.

Poles brought in six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen. Allen brings in his 10,530 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns to help not only the wide receivers unit but also the development of rookie quarterback Caleb Williams. He and Moore give the Bears a great duo for Williams to target.

Poles was not finished there, however. He used the ninth pick in the draft on another wide receiver, Rome Odunze. That gave the Bears an incredible trio, one of the top in the NFL. If speedy second-year man Tyler Scott can step up it will give the Chicago Bears the best wide receivers room in the league.

While the Bears have a great 1-2-3 punch, it is Moore who is the leader of the group. Allen is 32 years old. While he is still playing well, his playing days are more behind him than in front of him. He is in the final year of his contract that is a $23 million salary cap hit.

Allen already contemplated retirement before the Los Angeles Rams traded him to Chicago. Extending him beyond 2024 may not be very likely.

While Odunze has a bright future ahead of him, he is on the opposite side of the spectrum. He has many years ahead of him should he stay healthy. He needs some seasoning to be as good as many feel he can become.

That leaves Moore as the leader. At 27 years old, he is still in his prime. He is a great route-runner and athletic receiver. Additionally, he is a consummate professional. The younger players on the team need only see how he prepares on and off the field so he can be best prepared to make big plays.

Moore's contract is a bargain for the Chicago Bears

Moore's salary cap hit this season is $16.065 million. His cap hit for 2025 is the same. That is a huge bargain for the Bears. Recently there were several wide receiver signings. With each signing, Moore falls on the list of highest-paid receivers in the league.

This offseason, the Detroit Lions signed Amon-Ra St. Brown to a four-year, $120.010 million. The Houston Texans gave Nico Collins a three-year, $72.75 million deal. After that, the Miami Dolphins also gave Jaylen Waddle a three-year deal, this one for $84.75 million.

Several more receivers are due a new contract. San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel can opt out of his contract after this season. His teammate, Brandon Aiyuk, is also due a big extension. The Cincinnati Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase, Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb, and Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson are due extensions as well.

Currently, Moore ranks 15th in the league in terms of wide receiver salary. In 2023, despite ranking 13th in receptions, he ranked sixth in receiving yards (1,364). He did that in spite of having a struggling quarterback in Justin Fields. In fact, 2023 was Moore's best season. He recorded career highs in yards, touchdowns (8), yards per game (80.2), and catch percentage.

While Moore's contract is a great bargain for the Bears, it could be a bad thing as well. The longer Chicago waits, the more expensive Moore's next deal will become. If the other five who are also up for a new deal sign, the contract numbers will rise. The sooner the Bears sign Moore, the better the deal will be for the team.

We saw how an early signing helped the Chicago Bears. last year they re-signed tight end Cole Kmet. He currently has the seventh-highest contract for a tight end. Last season, he ranked seventh in receiving yards and fifth in touchdowns. With better quarterback play and a better offensive system, his value will only get better.

Next. Caleb Williams already has Bears fans thinking about the Lombardi Trophy. Caleb Williams already has Bears fans thinking about the Lombardi Trophy. dark

Poles has done a great job of keeping and acquiring talent on team-friendly deals. We will see if that continues with Moore. Receivers around the league are getting paid big bucks. Poles needs to get in and re-sign Moore. The longer he waits the higher the bill becomes.