Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pauls has some huge decisions looming after the 2022 season ends.
While the Poles are sure to reshape the roster in free agency and possibly via trade, there are also several players set to be due for contract extensions. Two-time All-Pro team player Roquan Smith and full-back David Montgomery are two of those players, but one emerging star on the team may be a bigger priority for the Poles.
Darnell Mooney, the wide receiver, is in his third season with the Bears and has become one of the main gears of the Chicago offensive. Mooney, selected in the 2020 fifth round by Tulane, is a favorite target of sophomore quarterback Justin Fields. The two have developed strong chemistry, having met frequently in the past off season to further refine their relationship.
Given what Matt Lombardo of the Heavy’s NFL team has heard from his sources, Mooney is one player the Poles and the company might choose to build around.
Bears and Darnell Mooney have a “huge” interest in the extension
Mooney got off to a bit of a slow start over the first six games of the season, but he’s been warming up recently. After catching only Four passes for 27 Yards During his first three games, Mooney has had 13 passes for 214 yards in his last three competitions, including the Catch of the Year nominee:
The 25-year-old receiver exits from a 2021 campaign that saw him lead the Bears in goals (140), receptions (81), yards receiving (1055) and touchdowns (4). He was the second-largest receiver in Chicago as a Rookie in 2020 (61 catches, 631 yards and four touchdowns), and the 61 receptions were the most by a Bears receiver wide.
It is likely that the vast youth will be rewarded for this production in the future. Mooney may be “on the verge of calling Windy City home for years to come,” according to Matt Lombardo of the NFL Heaves.
Lombardo wrote in his weekly Mailbag column on October 14: “Multiple Heavy League sources have told that the Bears and Mooney have a great mutual interest in getting an extension. However, Chicago is not allowed to actually sign Mooney on a new deal until the conclusion of his third season, which is This year “.
What would a Darnell Money extension look like?
Spotrac Mooney’s expected market value is $18.9 million per season, which equates to a four-year extension of $75.7 million. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Mooney sign a deal similar to that.
There is legitimate debate as to whether Mooney is the number one wide receiver in the league, and it’s fair to say that based on numbers alone, he hasn’t quite reached that level yet. But the Bears’ WR1 was in dire need of talent for the job and his chemistry with Fields might be enough to help him secure a future in Chicago.
New Mooney from the Bears’ 12-7 Week 6 loss to the Washington Leaders had a chance to catch up with the game winner, but it came literally by an inch:
The broad young man knows he needs to perform that play if he is to be seen as the real first receiver. “You just finished the match for us,” Money said after the loss. “If I want to be that player, I want to be that guy on our team, I have to do that play.”
There’s still a long way to go before the regular season is over, and Mooney will certainly have more chances to prove his worth, but it looks like he could be a strong attacking player for the Bears for years to come.