6 Bears likely leaving Chicago in the new year

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Darnell Mooney

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Mooney is a far cry from his career-best 2021 season where he caught 81 passes for 1055 yards and four touchdowns. The lack of talent around him and injuries last season cut his production in half. This year he has been a non-factor.

Some of that is because Fields tends to target D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet. The other part is Mooney still appears to be recovering from that ankle injury. He has not been as explosive as he was once. Also dropping a potential game-winning Hail Mary catch against Cleveland and then making excuses has not helped his cause.

After this season, he is set to be a free agent and has been playing like a No. 4 wide receiver. Those are easy-to-replace players.

Cody Whitehair and Lucas Patrick

The plan was for Whitehair to be the starting center. Teven Jenkins' early season injury delayed that plan. When Whitehair was inserted as the center, he failed to do the main part of the job--snap the ball.

Thankfully, Justin Fields had a baseball background to catch Whitehair's wayward shotgun snaps. It got so bad that Whitehair had to be benched for Lucas Patrick.

Whitehair is now the swing guard and is playing because Jenkins suffered a concussion. Since he will be 32 next season with a $10.15 million cap hit, it is highly unlikely he will be back next season. Ja'Tyre Carter is still on his rookie deal and has proven to be a capable backup.

Patrick has never lived up to the hope Poles had when he signed him as a free agent in 2022. Injuries ruined his season last year. Poor play has done him in this year. The Chicago Bears need to upgrade at center and letting Patrick walk in free agency is the first step in addressing that.