Multiple People’ Suggested KC Chiefs as Landing Spot for Darnell Mooney

When the Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, it was made perfectly clear that change could be coming at the position. As free agency approaches, general manager Brett Veach will have plenty of chances to improve the group.


At the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, there’s some Chiefs wide receiver buzz swirling. According to Dan Wiederer, beat writer for the Chicago Tribune, longtime Chicago Bears wideout Darnell Mooney is being brought up as a possible free agent option.


“On a lower-profile note, some chatter in Indy from folks eager to see where WR Darnell Mooney lands in a week and a half,” Wiederer wrote. “There’s a small buzz on the possibility of Mooney having a resurgent 2024 at a great value price. Multiple people suggested KC.”


This isn’t the first time Mooney’s name has been thrown around in Chiefs circles. It certainly makes sense on the surface, as the former fifth-round pick is still just 26 years old. Additionally, he has ties to Kansas City offensive coordinator Matt Nagy from his time as the Bears’ head coach. Mooney enjoyed his two best seasons with Nagy at the helm, hauling in 61 passes for 631 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie and 81 passes for over 1,000 yards and another four scores in 2021.


Since then, however, things haven’t gone too well for Mooney. In 2022, he played just 12 games and failed to reach the 500-yard mark. This past season, he posted career-worst marks in receptions (31), yards (414) and touchdowns (1) with his lowest success rate (41%) as well. Injuries have plagued Mooney a bit in recent years, most notably a couple of groin strains in 2021, an ankle sprain in 2022 and a concussion late last year.


Despite the decline in performance, Mooney still offers plenty of intrigue. He’s a blazing-fast athlete who ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash in the pre-draft process, which was accompanied by a 37-inch vertical jump. At his best, he possesses the ability to threaten defenses deep down the field and keep them on their toes. He’d bring a dynamic element to the Chiefs’ offense, although price is a hinge point. Most respected estimates for his contract projection settle in around $9-10 million.


Kansas City has a clear need for a field-stretching receiver, and money shouldn’t be a huge problem here. The team has multiple avenues to manufacture additional salary cap space. With that said, whether it’s worth using those funds to invest in Mooney is another question. He’s a sensible bounce-back candidate for 2024, although the combination of durability concerns and his recent performance are question marks. With just over a week until the legal tampering period opens (as of the publishing of this article), the football world will soon find out what the Chiefs think of the free agent crop of receivers — Mooney included.

Gideon Canice

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