5 Current starters who are unlikely to be in a Chicago Bears uniform in 2024

Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney
Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney
Chicago Bears, Darnell Mooney / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Chicago Bears Starter Unlikely to Return: Darnell Mooney, WR

I am a big Darnell Mooney fan. I love seeing guys taken in the mid to late rounds find ways to succeed. Mooney had an unbelievable 2021 season but struggled to follow that up in 2022. His targets were way down (doesn't help that Chicago didn't throw it often) and although his catch rate was higher, he wasn't as efficient last year as he was in 2021.

Last season, Mooney finished with only 61 targets. He caught 40 of those balls for 493 yards and two touchdowns. In 2021, Mooney had a breakout season that now looks like it might be an outlier. He finished with 81 catches on 140 targets for 1,055 yards. He had four receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Mooney would have to be closer to his 2021 performance than his 2022 if he is going to stick around.

Mooney is in the last year of his rookie contract. Ryan Poles has spoken highly of the fifth-round draft pick, but I wouldn't put too much stock in those praises since Poles has yet to retain a player from the prior regime. With the acquisition of D.J. Moore, Chase Claypool, and drafting Tyler Scott, it seems that Mooney is closer to being on his way out than getting a new contract. Obviously, it will come down to who performs better between Claypool and Mooney. Both are in a contract year.