Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Former Exec Thinks Ryan Poles Has Surprising Roster Move In Mind


Before getting into free agency, GM Ryan Poles has work to do regarding the Chicago Bears’ current crop of players with expiring contracts. He is certain to focus on what to do with Jaylon Johnson first. The Pro Bowl cornerback had his best season last year and needs a new deal. Poles must get him extended otherwise he could see the franchise tag. After that, decisions must be made on other key names like Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Jones, Lucas Patrick, Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, and D’Onta Foreman. However, there is one notable name that might be getting overlooked.

At one point, Darnell Mooney was viewed as a rising star. He cracked 1,000 yards in 2021, showcasing his excellent mix of route-running skills and blazing speed. However, the past two years have been frustrating for him, managing only 907 yards and three touchdowns. Many people have written him off as a flash in the pan. However, former Bears scout Greg Gabriel wrote on Windy City Gridiron that the Bears may look to keep him, believing a retooled coaching staff under offensive coordinator Shane Waldron would help.

“I realize I may be in the minority, but it would not surprise me if the Bears brought back Mooney on a team-friendly deal. In his first two seasons in the League, Mooney caught 142 passes for 1686 yards and eight touchdowns. There is no way I am going to believe that he could not suddenly play. The talent is there, as well as his 4.38 speed. Regardless of his lack of production, he could be a hot commodity in the free agent market. Team scouts will ask the same question as I did and wonder why there was a drop-off. They may come to the same conclusion in that it was the coach and not the player.”

Retaining Mooney makes some sense for Ryan Poles.

Despite the lowered production, the receiver still had strong moments last season. He had a big game against the Saints in New Orleans with 82 yards. It has always felt like Mooney never had a strong connection with quarterback Justin Fields. Most of his standout production in 2021 came when Andy Dalton was under center. Once Luke Getsy took over as offensive coordinator, his targets also dipped significantly. It’s not like Mooney suddenly became less talented. He was never meant to play in that offense.

Waldron’s arrival could be the lifeline he needs. One thing about the new Bears coordinator is he loves to attack defenses vertically. Seattle ranked 4th, 8th, and 11th in yards per pass attempt during his three years there. He had two down-the-field threats in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and wasn’t afraid to use them. Keeping Mooney with his 4.38 speed would make sense. He, along with D.J. Moore and likely a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft, would have the makings of a dangerous receiving corps.

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Does Mooney actually want to stay? That is a different conversation. Ryan Poles will need a convincing argument.


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Feb 24, 2024 11:27 am

Those who say he was rarely targeted 31/61. He was targeted 61 times and made 31 catches. Are you saying we needed to target him 90 times for 45 catches or that out of the blue the more times you target him he becomes better?

Just wondering where the hardly targeted comes in. Make catches, give the coaches and QB confidence you’ll make the catch or go get the ball in traffic. Then you get more touches. Not out of some arbitrary. Oh, we aren’t targeting Mooney enough.

Feb 24, 2024 11:25 am

Is is really hard to fathom that Mooney and Tyler Scott weren’t very good. Does anyone watch the games? Despite a great DJ Moore season, that WR room was filthy poor … oops hold on, Scott just dropped another TD while I’m writing this…..oops there’s Mooney as the lead blocker for a WR screen… eeew… They have puss poor weapons as a whole. Moore is excellent, Kmet is slightly better than avg but there are no playmaking options beyond that. I dare you, bring in a rookie QB with that OLine and those weapons..

Feb 23, 2024 5:55 pm

Mooney did lose his skill as a receiver—- Fields could not find the secondary receiver, If DJ was covered he would try to check down to Kmet and then it was run. Look at the stat for the other receivers.

Feb 23, 2024 2:02 pm

Could not have said it better myself!!!

Feb 23, 2024 1:44 pm

DM isn’t giving us a team friendly contract and if anything he’s ready to leave here. Remember at one point he was our number one and then two and last year 3 or 4. He got injured and Luke Getsy happened. It seems that he lost his concentration last year and dropped passes. Everyone doesn’t take moving down from one to 3 very well and he’s certainly not getting DJ or Cole’s opportunities. I just feel like he’s ready to move on and the Bears have too many better receivers in this draft and f/a to replace him with. It… Read more »

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