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2024 is shaping up to be one of the most important years in the long history of the Chicago Bears. What free agent moves should GM Ryan Poles make to start the year off right?

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Jaylon Johnson is set to receive a lucrative contract this offseason. Should the Bears be the ones to give it to him? / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Darnell Mooney's Bears career has gone in the wrong direction

Following the 2021 season, it seemed that Darnell Mooney's star was on the rise in Chicago. He caught 81 of a whopping 140 targets for over 1,000 yards, but since then, his production has dropped precipitously.

This past season was a low point for Mooney, and being as it was his contract year, it couldn't have come at a worse time. The fourth-year wideout played 15 games, but managed only 31 catches, which was barely over a 50% catch rate on his 61 targets.

Mooney looked off all year. He never got in sync with Justin Fields, which is odd considering Fields was his quarterback for most of the 2021 season. Fields has taken some blame for the shortcomings of the Bears offense, as has former offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, but Chicago's quarterback had no such trouble connecting with newcomer DJ Moore, who set personal bests in receptions, yards, and touchdowns in his first year in town.

Mooney's fall from grace is not unlike that of Allen Robinson, whose final year in Chicago featured the same perplexing inability to make the plays he had made the previous two years with the Bears. The Bears let Robinson walk, and in the two years since, he hasn't done much with the Rams or the Steelers. Maybe Mooney can bounce back, but if he does, it won't be in Chicago.

Next. NFL Rumors: 4 surprise teams that could draft a first-round QB in 2024. NFL Rumors: 4 surprise teams that could draft a first-round QB in 2024. dark