New WR DJ Moore believes Justin Fields can help Bears reach ‘new level’


The Panthers have had eight starting quarterbacks in DJ Moore’s five years, and none of them have been good players. So while the Bears are rebuilding and quarterback Justin Fields has a long way to go as a passer, Moore likes the potential for success here.

“There’s a limit from there to get to a better situation with a consistent quarterback,” he said when the Bears introduced him on Thursday.

This move should be mutually beneficial. The Bears’ working theory on Fields is that he should improve individually, but he has been significantly hampered in his first two seasons. With Matt Nagy’s offensive dysfunction and poor personnel picks by Ryan Pace in his rookie season, general manager Ryan Pauls has asked Fields to weather the impact of last season’s salary-cap-driven decisions. .

In addition to playing behind a shaky offensive line, Fields spent the season throwing mostly to wide receivers that Paul plucked from clearance racks.

Byron Pringle, who caught 10 passes, was the Bears’ highest-paid player at the $4.1 million position. Darnell Mooney was their crowning talent, but his start was slow and he was sidelined with an ankle injury in November. Pauls thought trading for Chase Claypool would give Fields a boost, but he didn’t contribute much in seven games.

Ultimately, none of the Bears’ wide receivers hit 500 yards, and Fields finished last in the NFL with 149.5 passing yards per game.

The Poles liked Mooney and Claypool, but knew that wasn’t enough. I need it.

Pauls needed a better player than Mooney and Claypool, and Moore, who came with the Bears, earned the top overall pick. It also helps that he’s on a very reasonable deal with a $16.1 million salary cap hit in 2024 and 2025.

Pauls was hesitant to trade up to No. 9, but said the price cut was worth it with Moore.

Moore would agree.

“Now that I am here, everyone can reach a new level here,” he said. “We’re trying to improve our offense and improve Justin at the same time. I’m here to make everyone better, and we just want to get some wins.

He’s certainly hungry for the latter. When the Panthers drafted Moore 24th overall in his 2018 out of Maryland, they were looking to finish his season in the playoffs with his 2015 MVP, Cam Newton, at quarterback.

Things didn’t go the way Moore envisioned. The Panthers have never won more than seven games and never missed the playoffs. It was a mess, and it was even more impressive that Moore kept producing regardless of his surroundings. He topped his 1,150 yards in 2019, 2020 and 21.

And not only is he keen to finally pick up some wins, Moore is trying to make it look silly for the Panthers to bail him out. He said the reaction was, “Anyway, let’s go.”

“Did they want to move up and kick me out?” he said. “Okay, I’m going to where you love me.”


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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