Bears 2024 Free Agents: CB Jaylon Johnson, WR Darnell Mooney, RB D’Onta Foreman in Contract Years

Who are the Bears' 2024 free agents? Cornerback Jaylon Johnson, wideout Darnell Mooney, and running back D'Onta Foreman highlight Chicago's pending FAs.

The Chicago Bears should be the most interesting team of the 2024 NFL offseason. Owners of the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft and $65+ million in cap space, the Bears will have an opportunity to remake their roster over the next several months.

General manager Ryan Poles already took care of some business during the regular season, extending trade deadline acquisition Montez Sweat on a four-year, $98 million contract. Which other pending free agents will Chicago try to re-sign this spring?

Who Are the Chicago Bears’ Upcoming Free Agents?

CB Jaylon Johnson

Jaylon Johnson has been pushing for a new contract since at least June, but the fourth-year defensive back couldn’t reach a long-term extension with the Bears in the days before the NFL’s trade deadline. Chicago consequently allowed him to seek a trade, but no deal materialized — potentially because of the high price the Bears placed on Johnson.

“Here’s the thing. I don’t want to lose Jaylon Johnson,” Poles said at the time. “If I were to lose Jaylon Johnson, I would like to have a high percentage of hitting on another Jaylon Johnson, which, to me, is a late first and into the early second.

“Really simple there. That didn’t happen. We are still open to getting a contract done. I know we’re going to follow Jaylon’s lead on how he wants to go about doing that, but we’re still open.”

Johnson set career bests in completion rate (55.2%), yards per target (4.8), and yards per completion (8.7) in 2023. He allowed a 33.3 passer rating as the nearest defender in coverage, the best mark in the NFL per PFF.

Unless a deal between Johnson and the Bears materializes over the next week or more, he’s an obvious candidate for the franchise tag, which is expected to cost $18.762 million for cornerbacks. No CB has been franchised since the Los Angeles Rams tagged Trumaine Johnson in 2016 and 2017.

WR Darnell Mooney

Darnell Mooney profiled as an extension candidate after his breakout 2021 campaign, when he posted 81 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. But his production has taken a downturn over the past two seasons.

In 2022, Mooney still led all Bears receivers in targets, receptions, and yards. Still, Chicago’s preference for running the ball meant he didn’t receive nearly as many opportunities as he had the season prior. Mooney also missed the final five frames of the year with an ankle injury.

This past season, Mooney appeared in every game until Week 17, when an illness and concussion knocked him out for the final two contests. Still, he was miles behind DJ Moore on the Bears’ WR depth chart. While Moore ranked fifth in the NFL with a 28.7% target share, Mooney received just 61 targets (12.5% share), turning them into a dismal 31-414-1 statline.

Chicago is still searching for a WR2 behind Moore. The Bears seem likely to invest either significant free agent dollars or an early-round draft pick in another pass catcher, so Mooney might have to go elsewhere.

RB D’Onta Foreman

While Foreman received at least 15 carries four times in a five-game stretch from Weeks 6 through 10, that represented the majority of his contributions to the Bears’ offense in 2023.

He dominated in Week 7, totaling 107 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the Bears’ win over the Las Vegas Raiders. On the season, Foreman ranked 12th in rushing success rate and 20th in yards after contact per attempt. That matches the eye test, which suggests he can generate his own yardage.

Although he’s not a factor in the receiving game, Foreman could make sense as a less expensive version of Derrick Henry for several teams around the league. But that might not be the Bears, who have Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson under contract in 2024.

Other Bears 2024 Free Agents

  • QB Nathan Peterman
  • WR Collin Johnson
  • WR Equanimeous St. Brown
  • WR Trent Taylor
  • TE Robert Tonyan
  • TE Marcedes Lewis
  • C/G Lucas Patrick
  • G Dan Feeney
  • EDGE Yannick Ngakoue
  • EDGE Rasheem Green
  • DT Justin Jones
  • LB Dylan Cole
  • LS Patrick Scales

KEEP READING: 2024 NFL Free Agency Predictions

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