Bears’ Key Offseason Addition Ranked ‘Most Overrated’ in NFL

The Chicago Bears went to extensive lengths to revamp their roster on both sides of the ball But one of their biggest gets, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, finds himself among some rather dubious company, ranked as the NFL’s “most overrated” linebacker.

Bears’ Tremaine Edmunds Ranked NFL’s ‘Most Overrated’ Linebacker

“When the Buffalo Bills drafted Tremaine Edmunds…the hope was that the young but wildly athletic Virginia Tech product would develop into one of the league’s best off-ball linebackers,” wrote Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report on June 2. “However…Edmunds just hasn’t been the sort of playmaker that [Roquan] Smith or a healthy [Shaquille] Leonard have been.”

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is at least somewhat familiar with both Smith and Leonard having coached the latter from his rookie season through 2021 and being around Smith to start the 2022 campaign.

Smith was traded to the Baltimore Ravens at the deadline after a contract holdout in camp.

Edmunds’ 359 solo tackles since 2018 rank 10th in the NFL in that span. To Davenport’s point, however, Edmunds has never ranked higher than his 19th-placed finish in any single season in that window.

“Edmunds is a very good player being paid like he’s great,” writes Davenport. “But he hasn’t shown that greatness—not yet.”

The Bears inked Edmunds to a four-year, $72 million contract with $36.8 million guaranteed at signing ($50 million guaranteed total) to man the middle of their defense. For reference, that is the fifth-highest total contract value in the NFL among off-ball linebackers and jumps a spot to fourth in terms of annual value, per Spotrac.

Tremaine Edmunds Lack of Turnovers a Potential Concern

Of potential concern, and further to Davenport’s message, Edmunds has just five interceptions in his career and only two over the last two seasons. He has also forced just two fumbles – both of which came during his rookie season – and he has never recovered one.

All three linebackers entered the league in the 2018 NFL Draft. But Edmunds also trails both Leonard and Smith in sacks and turnovers.

Provided by
          Tack Def Def Fumb Fumb
Rk Player Age G Sk Comb Int PD FR FF
1 Tremaine Edmunds 20-24 74 6.5 565 5 35 0 2
2 Shaquille Leonard 23-27 61 15.0 549 12 31 7 17
3 Roquan Smith 21-25 78 18.5 693 8 23 1 1
Perhaps that can be explained by the Bills’ scheme and other pieces.
Plenty of turnovers come from the deflections and forced fumbles of others. The 6-foot-5 Edmunds has also flashed that playmaking ability with the Bears, albeit in OTAs.

Edmunds is also the youngest of the three, each of whom hit free agency in 2026.

Bears ‘Interested’ in FA Pass Rushers

A lot of what happens with Edmunds and at the second level of the defense in general next season will be dictated by the Bears’ defensive line. Chicago recorded a league-low 20 sacks on the season in 2022 and ranked 31st against the run. Adding Edmunds and fellow free agent addition T.J. Edwards at linebacker isn’t solving that alone.

The Bears have added to their defensive line, mostly with interior players both in free agency and through the draft.

While they have also added some hybrid pass rushers, they might not be content with that.

Matt Eberflus Sends Strong Message on Bears’ Roster

They are mostly limited to aging veterans and retreads for proven options in free agency, which has left them open to trade speculation. Whatever they do, it’s clear that the expectations – both on the outside and from within – are higher than they were last year which is a good thing.

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Bears Urged to Take Proactive Stance With Cole Kmet

The Chicago Bears’ aggressive offseason moves could put the squeeze on one of their incumbent players.

“[Tight end Cole] Kmet might be more valuable to another team,” argued Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine on May 31. “If someone is willing to pay up for him in the final year of his rookie contract, the Bears should be willing to listen.”

Bears ‘Should Be Willing to Listen’ to Trade Offers for Former Top Pick

Cole Kmet’s Production Could Suffer in Revamped Offense

Ballentine’s argument comes from several factors, most notably the addition of D.J. Moore to the wide receiver room that has Darnell Mooney coming back after ankle surgery. Chase Claypool is in Year 2 and will have a full offseason with the team. Even more directly, they added former Green Bay Packer Robert Tonyan at tight end.

There’s also the matter of Kmet’s production.

As the Bears’ passing game went into the tank last season, Kmet’s targets fell by nearly 30%. He still did a lot of damage through the air with seven touchdowns. That was tied for the third-most among tight ends.

The former second-round pick (No. 43 overall in 2020) was Chicago’s first selection in his class. He is heading into the final year of his contract. There was word of contract talks in the spring.

“Just little talks here and there,” Kmet said, per Alex Shapiro of NBC Chicago on March 9. “They’ve got a lot to get done, obviously with the draft, free agency, all those things. Really wouldn’t expect much to happen, maybe until summer, really until after free agency settles and the draft, so we’ll see where it goes.”

Kmet, 24, is one of two tight ends in Bears history to record at least 130 receptions and 1300 yards over the first 50 games of his career, per Stathead, joining Greg Olsen. Zooming out, only 56 other tight ends in NFL history have achieved that mark to start their careers.

Jaylon Johnson Will Be at OTAs ‘For Sure’

Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson appeared on Keyshawn, JWill, & Max on June 1 to talk about a variety of topics, including his charity work for his non-profit, Kevvy’s Vision Project, and other such acts.

He also shed some light on his absence from OTAs ahead of a pivotal contract season.

Johnson, 24, was selected seven picks after Kmet in the 2020 NFL Draft. This regime does not have any ties to him (or Kmet for that matter) beyond his injury-shortened 2022 campaign. He has one career interception and has logged just one more pass breakup over the last two seasons (16) as he had as a rookie in 2016.

But Johnson has also gotten a vote of confidence from the Bears’ greatest tormentor, Aaron Rodgers. The now-New York Jets passer called the corner a “premier player” after their matchup in December.

Johnson said that he will be at the next set of OTAs “for sure”.

For what it’s worth, he has a little added motivation to show up and show out with the team drafting another perimeter corner in Tyrique Stevenson and 2022 second-rounder and projected nickelback Kyler Gordon admitted that he misses playing on the outside.

The Bears’ next set of OTAs will take place from June 5 through June 8 with veteran minicamp slated to take place the following week at which point Johnson was already expected back.

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Clarifies Stance on Contract Extension Amid Absence

This is undoubtedly a big season for the Chicago Bears and a player like cornerback Jaylon Johnson. But he’s not letting a potentially volatile situation weigh on him.

Johnson, 24, is heading into the final year of his rookie contract.

“It used to be a lot of pressure,” Johnson admitted on ESPN’s Keyshawn, J Will, & Max on June 1. “Going into my third year, I felt like that was a year for me to put myself out there to be able to have a new contract, to be able to re-up. I think for me, it’s just about going out and being who I am. And, for me I know I can be a dominant corner – I am a dominant corner in this league.”

Jaylon Johnson Feeling ‘No Pressure’ Ahead of Contract Season

As a former second-round pick (No. 50 overall, 2020), there is no fifth-year option to pick up. Johnson and the Bears will have to agree on a new deal before the end of the year. Otherwise, they risk the fourth-year man out of Utah walking for nothing in free agency.

Johnson missed the final three weeks of the 2022 season with a broken ring finger. But he recently declared himself “100% back” in an interview with ABC 30 sports anchor Alec Nolan on May 21.

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Makes Bold Declaration Ahead of Critical Season: ‘100%’

Johnson has been absent from OTAs to this point.

But he attributed it to his many charitable endeavors including Kevvy’s Vision Project.

“Just finding ways to continue to do my job at a higher rate, continue to be a better teammate, continue to find ways to win,” Johnson told the KJM crew. “At the end of the day, that’s all I want to do.”

Jaylon Johnson Backs Up David Montgomery’s Comments

Former Bears running back David Montgomery – who signed with the NFC North rival Detroit Lions this offseason – caught some flack over comments he made regarding his time in Chicago, saying all of the losing the team did in his four years sucked the fun out of playing football.

Johnson, who played with Montgomery for three of those seasons confirmed the circumstances at the very least if not the underlying sentiment that players want to be competitive.

“I haven’t had a winning season since I’ve been a Chicago Bear yet,” Johnson said on KJM. “I want to come in and be a dominant guy in the league, I want to dominate on this defense, and I want to come in and change that narrative.

“With winning come’s paychecks. And, I think at the end of the day, I need to focus on winning and that’s what I’m worried about going into Year 4.”

The Bears will need more than just Johnson to get out of the shadows of the 3-14 season they had in 2022.

Their aggressive offseason moves should go a long way to helping them achieve that, though.

“We heading in an upward projection, for sure,” said Johnson. “I feel like there’s nothing that I think we don’t have right now…We just got to come in and keep proving ourselves. Coming and keep finding ways to try and win games.”

Johnson noted the Bears’ additions on both lines, at wide receiver with D.J. Moore and rookie Tyler Scott, and even noted the added depth of rookie Tyrique Stevenson.

“We’re building from the ground up,” he said. “We have a good foundation with our offense.”

Justin Fields is ‘Progressing Really Well’

All of the feel-good statements coming out of OTAs about the Bears won’t mean anything if third-year quarterback Justin Fields is unable to take the necessary steps as a passer this season. He has had coaches say good things about him but Johnson spoke to it from a teammate’s perspective.

“I think he’s progressing really well,” Johnson said. “I expect for him to shine.”

Johnson credited Fields’ intangibles like toughness and leadership and noted that being in Year 2 in the Bears’ offense under offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will pay dividends.

“It’s one thing to have a coach come in your rookie year, you have to learn a new system. And for him to be fired and you have to go into a new system. It’s like you never really have a chance to get comfortable.

“I think he’s extremely comfortable now, and extremely confident [and] I think he can be very dangerous. And you’ll see a lot of that dominant quarterback play that you saw at Ohio State.”

Matt Eberflus Sends Strong Message on Bears’ Roster

The Chicago Bears are not satisfied with the current roster, at least not enough to keep their eyes from wandering.

“We’re interested in a lot of free agents,” said head coach Matt Eberflus on May 31 via the Bears’ YouTube channel when asked directly about adding a pass rusher to the roster. “We’re interested in a lot of guys, at all positions right now. So we’re just excited about being able to look at those guys, and potentially add as we go through camp and getting closer to the season.”

Bears ‘Interested in a Lot’ of FAs, HC Matt Eberflus Says

Bears Roster Still in Flux

With OTAs underway in Chicago, Eberflus and the staff have only gotten a cursory look at the players in attendance. And, while there are some players – like cornerback Jaylon Johnson – who have not been present, the Bears have known what they need for some time.

And they never really stopped trying to fix the issue.

“I think of my group, and we’ve proven that we’re always investigating options via trade, signing someone that’s still available post-free agency, general manager Ryan Poles said on ESPN 1000 on May 12. “We don’t really stop looking for talent. And so right now, I would just say we’re active, looking around, and maybe something will happen here soon.”

The Bears made 10 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft and came away without an EDGE rusher despite generating a league-low 20 sacks last season.

Improved coverage on the backend and pressure up the middle should help. Chicago also added a pair of tweeners – Rasheem Green and DeMarcus Walker – in free agency. The latter of whom recorded 7.0 sacks last season. But teams will test them on the edges if they don’t address what seems to be a void.

At or near the top of many wishlists for (but, perhaps, not from) the Bears is Yannick Ngakoue. There is also re-tread Leonard Floyd who won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams after being cut by the previous regime – which drafted him – after the 2020 season.

Trade options include New York Jets pass rusher Carl Lawson as well as Chase Young of the Washington Commanders.

Bears Coach Sheds Light on Jaylon Johnson’s Absence

“We know he’ll be here probably for mandatory minicamp,” Eberflus said of Johnson – one of three projected starters not attending OTAs along with Cody Whitehair and Nate Davis along the offensive line. “Hopefully, next week, potentially. So we’ll see.”

Johnson, 24, is the only one who is going into the final year of his contract.

He is recovering from a broken ring finger. The injury cost him the final three weeks of the regular season but has already declared himself good to go.

“100%, fully back,” Johnson told ABC 30 sports anchor Alec Nolan. “I’m ready to go.”

If it’s not health-related, then finances would seem to be a likely driving factor behind Johnson’s absence from OTAs. At the same time, OTAs are completely voluntary. And Johnson could just be looking to save some wear and tear on his body going into such a critical season for him and the Bears.

Bears Urged to Trade for ‘Stalwart’ D-Lineman With Ties to Coaching Staff

The Chicago Bears underwent a major facelift on both sides of the ball this offseason but some holes remain. It can be tough to fill most needs in on summer, let alone all the needs Chicago had.

Still, with a couple of months to go until training camps open up around the NFL, there is time for more tweaks to what should already be a vastly-improved group over last year’s 3-13 squad, and they could land one who is familiar with head coach Matt Eberflus.

Defensive ‘Stalwart’ Floated as Potential Bears Trade Target

“The Bears spent a ton of money to get new blood at inside linebacker…But they can only do so much if they don’t have tackles in front of them who hold up at the point of attack and keep them clean,” wrote Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report on May 31. “Making a trade for Grover Stewart would reunite the veteran with Eberflus while giving the Bears a reliable interior defender.”

Stewart, 29, spent four seasons under Eberflus in Indianapolis. He is heading into the final year of a three-year, $30.7 million contract and, as Ballentine notes, will be taking the field for a coaching staff with zero ties to him.

It is not as though he is a non-factor, however.

He is a stalwart against the run, racking up nine tackles for a loss and 70 combined tackles with the Colts last season,” Ballentine writes, adding Stewart “would offer some help in the pass rush department, too. Last season, he had four sacks and 14 pressures, per Sports Info Solutions.”

What’s more, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Steward has appeared in every game in each of the last four seasons including starting all 50 games over the past three seasons. Neither of the Bears’ projected starters – Justin Jones and Andrew Billings – have shown that kind of durability, though each offers something different than what Stewart brings.

While he could slot in alongside either Billing or Jones on the interior, their presence is just one reason why the Bears might hold off on pursuing the soon-to-be free agent.

Bears Rookies Have Impressed

The other big reason the Bears might be hesitant to fork over draft capital for a player who will turn 30 years old early in the season – which is already against the ethos of general manager Ryan Poles – is the work they did this year in the 2023 NFL Draft.

A class that included three interior linemen – Gervon Dexter Sr., Zacch Pickens, and Travis Bell – has seen that trio generate plenty of buzz. First, it was with their personalities and anecdotes during the pre and post-draft processes. Now, the youngsters have gotten a chance to show what they can do on the football field, albeit in sweats without pads.

Of course, a Bears defense that ranked 27th in yards per carry and 32nd in rushing touchdowns allowed needs all the help it can get.

Bears Need More Help at EDGE than DT

This roster was bereft of talent last season. But, despite their actions in the draft and free agency, Jones was one of the unit’s few bright spots. It will be interesting to see if he has another level to his game with better pieces around him at almost every level.

The Bears have not, however, added anyone of significance at EDGE rusher, a bit of a concern with the defense generating just 20 sacks last season.

They do have incumbents Trevis Gipson and Domonique Robinson, both of whom have a lot to prove. And they added Rasheem Greene and DeMarcus Walker in free agency but both of them are more tweeners than pure pass rushers, though Walker did record 7.0 sacks last season for the Tennessee Titans and Green notched 6.5 sacks for the Houston Texans in 2021.

Bears’ Justin Fields Sounds Off on Embattled Playmaker: ‘He’s Taken Another Step’

On the first day of OTAs, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields had plenty to say about his weapons this season.

Justin Fields Name Drops Chase Claypool, Darnell Mooney

When asked what was the next step for him in the offense from a technical aspect, Fields mentioned working in 2022 trade deadline acquisition Chase Claypool in more this season.

“Chase is improved tremendously just from the end of last year to now,” Fields said via the team’s Twitter feed on May 23. “That’s one thing I’m truly proud to say. Just seeing his work ethic, his attitude changed. You can just see he’s taken another step. So definitely excited for that.”

That has to be music to fans’ and general manager Ryan Poles’ ears.

The pick used to acquire the fourth-year man from the Pittsburgh Steelers turned into the No. 32 overall pick.

It is a steep price to pay for the 140 yards on 14 grabs Claypool — who Fields had to calm on the sidelines at one point last season — produced after he arrived last season.

The receiving core was still shorthanded with fourth-year man Darnell Mooney still recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Mooney said on “The 33rd Team” podcast on May 18 that he recently began cutting and expects to be good to go for the season.

He is just one year removed from posting his first 1000-yard season.

“We don’t even have Mooney right now in practice,” Fields noted. “So once we get him back it’s going to be awesome. So very excited, for sure

Justin Fields: D.J. Moore a ‘Great’ WR

Fields was asked about wide receiver D.J. Moore whom the Bears acquired from the Panthers as part of their trade out of the No. 1 overall pick. Moore is the draft pick to suit up for the Bears since Kevin White (No. 7 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft) in 2018 when he tallied eight receptions in nine games after a series of injuries stunted his development.

The No. 24 overall pick in 2018, Moore has three 1000-yard campaigns under his belt and has never been more than 250 yards away from passing that mark in any season so far.

That level of consistency is already apparent to Fields.

“Strength, speed, body control, great hands,” Fields said when asked what stands out about Moore. “I think he knows how to use his body to get open. I think that’s a big part of [being a receiver]. And he knows how to tip a route.”

“He’s rarely going to be running 100% on all his routes. He has that second gear to go get the ball. So I think that’s what makes him a great receiver.

Fields also noted Moore’s abilities to understand coverages and read the defense as strengths.

Justin Fields Sets Record Straight

Fields insisted that “every year was a big year” but the former No. 11 overall pick will be extension eligible after this season and, with a slew of new pieces around him, a big season could mean a big payday.

“I’m not worried about contracts,” Fields said when asked about his contract status. “I’m worried about wins.”

It helps, Fields noted, that he will have another season in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system.

“I think the growth from…where he was at this time last year to where he is now – I think it just is light years ahead of where it was,” Getsy said on May 6 via the team’s YouTube channel.

Bears Coaches Deliver Encouraging Message About Justin Fields

In the months and weeks leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, questions floated around pondering if the Bears would take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick and trade Fields.

The current regime did not draft him and surely don’t anticipate being in that position again.

They ultimately dropped back nine spots to take Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall pick. They have set themselves up to add to this team if things click for Fields this season and, potentially, do something about it if they don’t, though they are said to be sold on the 24-year-old fourth-year passer.

Asked if he ever felt the team might actually go in a different direction, Fields answered matter-of-factly.

But Poles isn’t counting on Fields to take that step alone. Having Moore, Wright, and all of the other additions — including fixing a leaky defense — bode well for Fields and the Bears.

Offseason Pickup Considered Bears’ ‘Best Kept Secret’ in 2023

The Chicago Bears did a lot to overhaul their roster on both sides of the ball.

Key to that was adding offensive lineman Nate Davis to a much-maligned group from 2022. It contributed to a league-high 55 sacks for quarterback Justin Fields.

He’s now considered the team’s ‘best-kept secret’.

Nate Davis Considered Bears’ ‘Best Kept Secret’

“Playing in Tennessee last season, [Davis] finished as the 17th-ranked guard by [Pro Football Focus’s metrics,” writes Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report naming each team’s ‘best-kept secret’ on March 21. “He’s been a consistent starter for some good offensive lines during his time in Tennessee. He’s the kind of underrated addition that raises the floor of the Bears offense.”

Chicago signed Davis to a three-year, $30 million contract with $19.2 million guaranteed after he helped block for two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry who tallied over 1500 yards on the ground last season.

And for a look at Davis in the run game, keep an eye on No. 64 in the clip below.

Adding Davis also allowed the Bears to slide third-year man Teven Jenkins over to the left side and move 2022 starting left guard Cody Whitehair in at center. In theory, one signing should strengthen three positions with rookie Darnell Wright – the No. 10 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft – manning the right tackle position.

Bears Need 3rd-Year Leap From Justin Fields

Fields and the Bears boasted the NFL’s best rushing attack, racking up nearly 300 yards over the No. 2 team, the Baltimore Ravens.

The third-year quarterback led the charge with 1143 yards on the ground. But the Bears are hoping his retooled offensive line – plus some new weapons in D.J. Moore and Robert Tonyan – will see him take that next step as a passer.

Early indications have been positive.

Bears Coaches Deliver Encouraging Message About Justin Fields

And Fields is saying all of the right things.

“The guys who were in the offense last year are way more comfortable this year with the playbook,” Fields told Larry Mayer of, “and focusing on the defense rather than just the little stuff with the offense because they know it, they know the foundation of it.”

Darnell Mooney ‘Disrespecting Everbody’ in ’23

One of Fields’ top weapons of 2022, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, did not finish the season, succumbing to an ankle injury that require surgery and cost him the final three weeks of the season. Heading into a contract year, Mooney says that he is no longer concerned with others’ opinions of him.

“Ball out. Dominate,” Mooney said on ‘The 33rd Team’ podcast on May 18. “I’m not really on the ‘respect my name’ anymore. I’m just disrespecting everybody now. Don’t really care about respect no more. Other than that, I just want to win. I don’t really care about anything else.”

Mooney is just one year removed from his first 1000-yard campaign.

If he can return to full health, he may be poised for a big year with Moore in tow to take away opposing defenses’ attention. At the same time, there are a lot more proven mouths to feed than there were at this time last season. Whatever happens, the Bears’ offense figures to be worlds better this coming season.

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Makes Bold Declaration Ahead of Critical Season: ‘100%’

Fourth-year Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson is heading into the final year of his contract after missing the final three weeks of last season with a broken ring finger.

He also missed three games earlier in the season with a quad injury.

Jaylon Johnson Updates Status of Broken Finger

“100%, fully back,” Johnson told ABC 30 sports anchor Alec Nolan in a feature highlighting the charity the Bears corner started in honor of his late best friend, Kevvion Schrubb, who was shot and killed nearly two years ago. “I’m ready to go.”

Johnson finished the campaign without an interception but deflected seven passes, forced one fumble, and recovered one as well. Johnson also held his assignments below a 60% catch rate in his coverage for the third straight season.

He was the only Bear out of 41 defenders to see at least 50 targets and hold opposing quarterbacks below a 60% completion rate while also starting at least 10 games last season.

The former second-round pick (No. 50 overall) had the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade among the Bears’ secondary.

Only safety Eddie Jackson – who missed the final five weeks of the season after suffering a Lisfranc injury against the New York Jets in Week 12 – was better. Jackson also appears to be on track to return and is still one of the top playmakers when healthy.

Jackson recorded four interceptions last season, his most since his All-Pro 2018 season and the second-highest total of his career. The 29-year-old former fourth-round pick (No. 112 overall in 2017) also deflected six passes and forced two fumbles.

They make up 2/5 (considering most teams play a lot of nickel) of a re-tooled secondary that adds rookie Tyrique Stevenson to second-year defensive backs, Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon.

The Bears hope to be much improved over last season when they ranked 32nd in net yards per attempt last season.

Jaylon Johnson: Raiders’ Davante Adams the ‘Toughest Cover’

While he doesn’t have to face him twice a year anymore, Johnson still calls Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams the “toughest matchup” he’s faced.

Adams spent the first eight years of his career with the Bears’ most-hated rival, the Green Bay Packers. In 16 career games versus the Bears while a member of the Packers, Adams posted 1024 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 81 grabs, per Stathead, while helping guide them to a 14-2 record.

Last season for the Raiders, Adams posted his second consecutive season with over 1500 yards on 100 grabs while leading the league with 14 receiving touchdowns.

It is the second time in three years he’s led the NFL in receiving scores.

Adams’ trade last offseason was a precursor to Aaron Rodgers’ departure via trade to the New York Jets, and the hope is a shift in the balance of power in the NFC North that has seen the Packers on top more often than not.

The Detroit Lions look to be formidable and the Minnesota Vikings compete every season. But the Bears have been on the wrong side of the NFL’s oldest rivalry for too long.

Adams and the Raiders will travel to Soldier Field in Week 7.

Jaylon Johnson All About Giving Back

Johnson opened up about the mission of his non-profit which he says he hopes to bring to Chicago.

“I’m always home so it doesn’t feel different for me. It’s just where I’m supposed to be at. My family’s here, [the] community’s here, so I’m here. … Just helping and empowering families…We just want to be able to help the kids and the families. … I’m not on this Earth to just play football.”

The Bears kick off the 2023 season with a home date against Adams’ former team in the start of a new era for Green Bay with quarterback Jordan Love under center.

Bears’ Darnell Mooney Provides Detailed Injury Update

The Chicago Bears did a lot of work to fortify the ranks around third-year quarterback Justin Fields this offseason adding to the protection in front of him and the weapons around him. On the latter front, adding D.J. Moore to last year’s group should do wonders in terms of providing Fields with a proven top option on the outside.

Darnell Mooney Updates Status Before Teammate Shares Sobering Experience

It should also help the other receivers since they will be in more appropriate roles for their respective skill sets, including the incumbent top option, Darnell Mooney.

“I am running,” Mooney told teammate Equanieous St. Brown on ‘The 33rd Team’ podcast on May 18. “I’m cutting. I started cutting today. So, naw, I’ll be 100%. I got screws in my foot so I’ll be a little robotic. Probably 1000 times better than I was.”

One year after his first 1000-yard campaign, Mooney made 12 starts last season.

The third-year wideout suffered a broken leg cutting in Week 12 against the New York Jets, finishing an already-trying season with 493 yards and two touchdowns on 40 receptions.

Equanimeous St. Brown Shares Experience with TightRope Surgery

Mooney confirmed that he broke his fibula for St. Brown’s co-host, brother, and Detroit Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown before confirming for his teammate that he had what is known as “TightRope” surgery, a procedure that uses cord instead of screws to aid in the healing process, according to the Southern California Orthopedic Institute:

The TightRope system anchors the ends of the tibia and fibula together with a braided polyethylene cord, rather than with a rigid surgical screw, to restore the original position of the bones and to allow for proper healing.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a similar procedure performed in 2018.

Though, in his respective instance, he (and teammate Jalen Hurts, now of the Philadelphia Eagles) was able to return in four weeks while at the University of Alabama.

“I had that too. My ankle doesn’t move no more,” Equanimeous St. Brown said. “That s*** is steady. … I didn’t break it. But I had TightRope my second year in the NFL…That s***’s locked. It’s locked. It’s locked in place. It’s not moving.”

Mooney – a former fifth-round pick in 2020 – said that his doctors warned him of something similar but said that he felt “good” about where things stand. His recovery does take on added significance going into a contract season with a regime that did not draft him and has already gone about upgrading the position around him.

“They want to see me run and stuff so we’ll see,” he said. “I’m in no rush.”

Darnell Mooney on D.J. Moore: ‘Great Fit’

“He’s gonna fit good,” Mooney said. “Good guy, good dude for sure. Seems to be working hard. Seems to be honing into what we got, our culture, or whatnot. So, yeah…great fit, for sure.”

Moore – the No. 24 overall pick in 2018 – arrives with three 1000-yard seasons under his belt and two more in which he fell fewer than 250 yards shy. Even in a “down season” for his yardage, he produced seven receiving scores and took 10 handoffs for 53 years in 2022.

That could put a little extra pressure on Mooney to produce but he sounds ready regardless.

“Do whatever I can do for my team,” Mooney said of his expectations for this season. “Ball out. Dominate. I’m not really on the ‘respect my name’ anymore. I’m just disrespecting everybody now. Don’t really care about respect no more. Other than that, I just want to win. I don’t really care about anything else.”

Justin Fields Issues Telling Statement on Bears’ Offense

At this time last year, the Chicago Bears and quarterback Justin Fields were getting ready to install what were the bones of offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s scheme.

While they produced exciting results at times, it did not always look pretty or help them win.

“I can tell the guys who were in the offense last year are way more comfortable this year with the playbook,” Fields told Larry Mayer of, “and focusing on the defense rather than just the little stuff with the offense because they know it, they know the foundation of it.”

Bears ‘Way More Comfortable’ in Luke Getsy’s Offense

Justin Fields Has Weapons Now

Fields is understandably excited by the addition of D.J. Moore to the wide receiver room following the latter’s trade from the Carolina Panthers. It was a deal that saw the Bears drop out of the No. 1 overall pick.

However, his comments could also bode well for 2022 trade deadline acquisition, Chase Claypool.

Chicago sent the Pittsburgh Steelers what turned into the No. 32 overall pick for the 24-year-old.

He caught just 14 of his 29 targets for 140 yards in seven games (three starts) with the Bears. It was not what they envisioned from the former No. 49 overall pick (2020) even before knowing where the pick would fall. His catch-rate tends to be on the lower side more than some wideouts due to the type of routes he runs. But Claypool still posted the worst catch rate of his career in Chicago.

Claypool was open about his frustrations with things not working last season and even had to be calmed down by Fields at one point.

But he stands to benefit more than anyone other than Fields from Moore’s arrival.

Bears Getting Offense in Order

Just as Moore has stolen the headlines, he should likewise take away the attention of the opposing defense.

Moore fell short of his fourth consecutive 1000-yard campaign and has never finished a season with fewer than the 788 yards he posted in his rookie season. A former first-round pick, Moore was selected No. 24 overall in 2018.

“I’ve known DJ for a little bit now,” Fields said, per Mayer. “I can tell he loves the game, he’s a hard worker and, of course, he’s talented. He’s proven that over the past few years playing with the Panthers. So, it’s great to have him; another weapon to add to our offense. He’s going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of leadership to the room. Everybody’s excited to have him, so it’s going to be fun.”

Bears GM Sends Strong Message on Plans to Fix Glaring Roster Flaw

Moore’s presence should have a similar effect on incumbent top option Darnell Mooney.

Mooney is still recovering from ankle surgery that cut his season short after 12 games. But he is just one year removed from his first 1000-yard season.

Bears Coaches Brag on Justin Fields’ Progress

In the sense that he makes everything go, the things coming out of Halas Hall about Fields may seem like standard-issue lip service during the offseason. But the Bears coaches have always taken a measured approach when discussing where Fields was in the process.

Now, Getsy sounds as confident in Fields as Fields does in the things that are now around him.

“I think the growth from…where he was at this time last year to where he is now – I think it just is light years ahead of where it was,” Getsy said on May 6 via the team’s YouTube channel. “And we feel like he has a ton more to grow going forward. So we’re excited to try to get the best out of them moving forward and keep working to where we think he can go.”

With the sixth-easiest strength of schedule this coming season, per Sharp Football Analysis, the Bears and Fields are indeed set up to outperform their abysmal (on the whole) 2022 season.