D.J. Moore: I’m Here to Elevate Justin Fields and the Rest of the Chicago Bears Offense

I can already tell the Bears’ acquisition of D.J. Moore will be one of those moments you remember where you were and what you were doing. It was the first big swing (and connection) of the Ryan Poles era. Chicago’s general manger, who was very public with what he was looking for in trading out of the first pick, managed to get everything he wanted. Poles might’ve been tempted by other potential deals, but I can’t say he “settled” on what the Carolina Panthers gave him, because it brought D.J. Freaking Moore to Chicago.

After all, Moore is the type of wide receiver Poles and Head Coach Matt Eberflus have been wanting since *LAST* offseason. Now that Moore is here, let’s get familiar with the new guy.

Player, Age, Position

D.J. Moore, 25, wide receiver

Contract

Moore signed a three-year extension with the Panthers in 2022 worth $61.88 million. The deal came with $41.61 million in full guarantees and a $19.5 million signing bonus. The Bears have him under team control through the 2025 season.

BASE SALARY, CAP NUMBER, CAP PERCENTAGE

  • 2023: $19.965 million, $20.165 million, 8.7%
  • 2024: $15.85 million, $16.05 million, 6.3%
  • 2025: $14.85 million, $16.05 million, 5.7%
  • Contract info via OverThecap.com

    The Numbers

    2022 STATS

  • 63 catches
  • 888 receiving yards
  • 7 touchdowns
  • CAREER PERFORMANCE

  • Career stats: 364 catches, 5,201 yards, 21 touchdowns in 80 games with the Carolina Panthers (2018-21)
  • Per 17 games: 131 targets, 77 catches, 1,105 yards, 4 touchdowns
  • Notable achievements: 2018 NFL All-Rookie Team
  • Pro Football Focus grades: 73.9 (32nd/113) in 2022, 76.9 (26th/115) in 2021, 79.1 (24th/127) in 2020), 82.2 (11th/122) in 2019, 71.8 (40th/118) in 2018.
  • The one thing Moore brings to the Bears that the team didn’t have before his arrival was a consistently reliable target. Darnell Mooney is a nice receiver, but has just one 1,000-yard receiving season under his belt. Chase Claypool has the ideal frame and athleticism but has yet to live up to his full potential. Meanwhile, Moore put up three consecutive 1,100+ yard receiving seasons in Carolina with a cast of quarterbacks that was less than impressive. But soon, Moore will be catching passes from a quarterback who Pro Football Focus’ data had as the most accurate of the PFF College era. Yes, that is better than Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Deshaun Watson, Justin Herbert, and, well, everyone.

    Highlights

    The Bears’ YouTube page also has 10+ minutes of Moore highlights.

    Where He Fits

    Moore is the type of receiver the Bears have been looking to add for a hot minute. He beats cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage, creates separation, and makes plays for his quarterback. Finding receivers who check all three boxes hasn’t been easy for the Bears. And in Moore, they got it. This is a receiver who put up back-to-back-to-back 1,100+ yard receiving seasons while catching passes from Kyle Allen, Will Greer, Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold, and a past-his-prime Cam Newton. Plus, the Bears got Moore *AND* some much-needed draft capital as part of the trade out from the No. 1 pick.

    When games of consequence kick off in September, Moore’s ability to get open should give Justin Fields the confidence to throw the ball in the new guy’s direction without fearing the consequences that came with targeting lesser wideouts last year. And I can’t wait to see what that looks like in 2023.

    The Final Word

    Via the Chicago Bears (bold emphasis mine):

    “I think everybody’s level can reach a new level here now that I’m here. I was talking to (Darnell) Mooney and was talking about being together with Chase (Claypool) and me and him, how we’re just going to elevate the offense and just elevate Justin (Fields) at the same time. Because I’m not just here to be like, ‘I’m here,’ just like a bright light. I’m here to make everyone around me better and we just want to try to get some wins.

    written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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