NFC Notes: Darnell Mooney, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Jonah Jackson, Bears, Lions, Vikings


  • Courtney Cronin of ESPN believes a “change of scenery might be best” for Bears WR Darnell Mooney, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent next month.
  • Bears GM Ryan Poles had some interesting comments when asked about Mooney’s future in Chicago: “There’s different buckets. There’s guys that are going to have to go test the market and see what’s out there and maybe circle back.”
  • As for DE Yannick Ngakoue, Cronin believes the Bears could choose to target a replacement for the veteran edge rusher, possibly with the No. 9 overall pick.
  • Cronin mentions the Bears will have some options to upgrade the 3-technique position from DT Justin Jones with Chris Jones, Justin Madubuike and Christian Wilkins among the players set to be free agents this offseason.
  • Regarding veteran C Lucas Patrick, Cronin believes Chicago could look for an upgrade at center this offseason due to his “inconsistent play.”
  • Cronin believes S Eddie Jackson could be a cap casualty for Chicago in the coming weeks, given the injuries he’s dealt with and his contract. The Bears would pick up $12.6 million of cap room by releasing him.
  • Cronin notes that releasing OL Cody Whitehair would result in $9.1 million of cap savings for the Bears this offseason. Whitehair was benched this past season after moving to center.
  • TCU S Mark Perry had multiple meetings with the Bears at the Shrine Bowl. (Ryan Fowler)


  • The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy lists cornerback and edge rusher as the top two needs for the Lions this offseason. 
  • He also notes both starting guards, Jonah Jackson and Graham Glasgow, are on expiring contracts. Jackson is younger and more talented as a former Pro Bowl selection, but has had some injury issues and will be a lot more expensive to keep than Glasgow, per Pouncy.
  • Re-signing both is possible but Pouncy notes the Lions have other needs and teams usually can’t keep everyone they want to. He points out QB Jared Goff, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, RT Penei Sewell, DT Alim McNeill and LT Taylor Decker are all extension candidates this offseason. 
  • Pouncy mentions depth at safety as another need for the Lions, as C.J. Gardner-Johnson is set to be a free agent and Detroit could cut Tracy Walker to save some cap space and give both sides a fresh start. 
  • Pouncy writes the Lions could stand to upgrade at kicker but it remains to be seen how much of a priority the team puts on that. 


  • South Dakota State OL Garrett Greenfield said he spent extended time with the Vikings among his interviews at the Shrine Bowl. (Justin Melo)

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