Free agency is underway, and somewhat underwhelming. But there are still things to discuss.
- I’ll never understand the sentiment that Darnell Mooney can’t be a number one receiver in the NFL. In his rookie season, with a good Allen Robinson on the other side, he went 61-631-4. In his second season, with a terrible Allen Robinson on the other side, he saw those number leap to 81-1055-4, while developing a serious rapport with Justin Fields. Why do fans believe his ascension won’t continue?
- Cooper Kupp’s second year: 40-566. His third year: 94-1161.
- It took Stefon Diggs four seasons to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
- Take a look at the progression of Davante Adams’ career in Green Bay.
- This is not to suggest that Mooney profiles as a Justin Jefferson or J’Marr Chase – players with the tools to physically take over every game they play. But there are only a handful of those in the world. If Fields continues to feed Mooney, Mooney is going to produce at top of the league levels. And production, not profile, is what constitutes being a number one receiver in the NFL.
- Pat O’Donnell has left the Bears for the Packers. This should provide you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the legendary leg of Matt Araiza at San Diego State. (This is a deep punter class.)
- Arlington Heights is becoming more and more a reality, as the Bears have enlisted the same folks who built the ballpark in Vegas to spearhead the project. While I have been (perhaps) the most outspoken critic of this move, the fight seems to be lost. Ownership wants the new building, and they will be open to paying a yearly lease-breaking penalty to vacate Soldier Field well before 2033. (And if you’re reporting that Ted Phillips will oversee this move, your reporting is incorrect. Phillips will not be with the Bears beyond 2023, and the groundbreaking won’t be until after his retirement.)
- It is quite remarkable that one team can essentially ruin free agency, but that’s what Jacksonville did by giving bloated contracts to two middling players in Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. Said one personnel man to me in a text, “ZAY JONES?!?!” Who knows what the market for Allen Robinson or JuJu might have been had Jacksonville not made every agent salivate in the early days of the legal tapering window? But now they seem destined for one-year deals.