5 Most Likely Darnell Mooney Destinations in Free Agency

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries took Darnell Mooney from being a 1,000-yard receiver to probably no longer being with the Chicago Bears.

The former fifth-round pick caught 81 passes for 1055 yards during the 2021 season--his second year in the NFL. That campaign provided hope Mooney could be at least the team's long-term No. 2 wide receiver.

The wide receiver group around Mooney in 2022 was absolutely awful. It contributed to him producing nearly half of what he did in 2021. Making matters worse, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury during Week 12.

It looked like he was still not at full speed through most of 2023. When he did get open, quarterback Justin Fields tended to not see him. He finished with 31 catches on 61 targets for 414 yards in 15 games.

Now he heads into free agency looking to prove he can still be a capable top-receiving target. The Bears could re-sign him since they only have D.J. Moore and Tyler Scott under contract at wide receiver. Well, they also have Velus Jones Jr. but he is more of a kick return specialist who should be cut.

New offensive coordinator Shane Waldron seems to prefer bigger wide receivers. Waldon's offense in Seattle only had Tyler Lockett as the only receiver listed under six feet tall. Mooney is listed at five feet, 11 inches.

Spotrac.com projects Mooney will get a four-year, $41.98 million deal in free agency. The Bears have Tyler Scott at the same height on a rookie deal. So it is a good bet the team lets Mooney move on.

Plus, the Bears can use their vast cap space to pursue Calvin Ridley, Marquise Brown, and Curtis Samuel. The Chicago Bears also have the No. 9 overall pick in the first round. That gives them a shot to draft Washington's Rome Odunze or LSU's Malik Nabers.

Two teams scream out as potential landing spots for Darnell Mooney. There are three more teams some national media pundits think could go after Mooney.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs make sense for three reasons. The first is the wide receiver group had a hard time catching the ball for Patrick Mahomes. Rashee Rice and Mecole Hardman improved just enough to complement tight Travis Kelcem which allowed the Chiefs to repeat as Super Bowl champs. An upgrade at that position is still needed if Kansas City hopes to be the first team to three-peat.

The second reason is the Chiefs have cut Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Hardman is a free agent, so the Chiefs need to replace at least two receivers who helped them win a Super Bowl.

The final reason is Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy was the Bears head coach during Mooney's first two seasons. Darnell enjoyed success playing under Nagy, so it would make sense for those two to get back together in Kansas City.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders could use an upgrade at their No. 3 wide receiver. Their new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was the Bears' OC the past two seasons.

However, it was under Getsy that Mooney's production declined.

Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, or Tennessee Titans

CBS Sports' Garrett Pordell has Mooney as the fifth-best free-agent wide receiver. He thinks the Ravens could sign Mooney to help smooth over the potential loss of Odell Beckham Jr.

The Eagles could use a better third wide receiver. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler lists the Titans as a potential suitor for Mooney (subscription required).