The Chicago Bears have a few big decisions to make before the 2023 NFL season gets here. One of them will be whether they extend Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, neither, or both. The odds probably lean closer to neither than both, but also you would assume that they at least offer a deal to one of the two.
Which WR should Chicago Bears extend: Darnell Mooney or Chase Claypool?
So, which one would be the choice. Below we see how they compare to each other since 2020.
They have almost the same exact number of yards. Mooney did it on more catches, giving Claypool the edge in yards per catch. Also, Claypool is more of a threat as a runner.
Claypool has 12 receiving touchdowns, but nine of them came in his rookie season. Since then, he has just three. One of the big issues with Claypool is that his best season was his rookie season in 2020. Mooney had his best season in 2021, so neither was at their best last year, making this more difficult.
Still, Mooney averaged 41 yards on 3.3 catches per game last season, while Claypool was at 30.1 yards and 3.1 catches per game. That is definitely going to favor Mooney, despite neither being eye-opening.
Beyond that, Mooney has a longer history or rapport with Justin Fields. However, there may be more on the side of Claypool that could lead to him being extended first.
The obvious is that Claypool was acquired by Ryan Poles for a second-round pick while Darnell Mooney is a Ryan Pace draft pick. Ryan Poles will not just throw any Pace acquisition away, but he has a strong track record of disregarding all of the Pace picks, and not making any commitments to those players.
So, why would Darnell Mooney change that? Especially when his career is not better, and even last year, when Claypool was at his worst, Mooney was not head and shoulders the better player, either.
Lastly, the Chicago Bears drafted Tyler Scott. Between Mooney and Claypool, the one that Scott plays like, and looks like in terms of size would be Mooney. More than that, the Bears are working Scott out of the slot, which is where Mooney played last year, and will play there, even more, this season because of Claypool getting full-time work outside, and DJ Moore added outside as well.
So, Scott almost appears destined to step in for Mooney after Mooney walks in free agency next season. This would allow them to shift their attention to Claypool.
Of course, an option that could eventually arise is neither. There are cases to be made for both Mooney and Claypool, who do you prefer, or is neither the best case?