D.J. Moore is enthralled to be joining the Chicago Bears.
"It's going to be real special," Moore told ChicagoBears.com. "I'm glad to be a part of the groundwork that's being laid. And to just build that foundation of winning, it's going to be something special."
According to the same story, Moore is becoming acquainted with the team. He has already had dinner with Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney. He's also met receiver Chase Claypool and Braxton Jones at Halas Hall.
Moore is getting his bearings (no pun intended) with the organization and the city of Chicago. This is important because the young receiver was the Bears' key part in their transaction with the Carolina Panthers to trade down in the upcoming NFL draft.
"We are excited about the additional picks acquired, including staying in the top 10 selections this year, but also the addition of a proven and dynamic playmaker in DJ Moore," Ryan Poles told ChicagoBears.com. "We had multiple aggressive offers to consider, but in the end it felt right for both teams in what Panthers GM Scott Fitterer presented and it keeps us in an area of this year's draft that we really like."
Merely seven weeks out from draft day, Poles and the Bears traded their coveted No. 1 pick to the Panthers for Moore, the No. 9 and No. 61 picks in this year's draft, along with a first and second-round pick in the 2024 and 2025 drafts, respectively.
Yet, Moore is the most important piece. His inclusion earned the Bears the luxury of scratching "No. 1 wide receiver" off their laundry list. It also earned the Bears the commodity of time to plan out a new angle for attacking free agency and the draft.
Getting Moore on the roster helped the Bears in a multitude of ways outside of his expected performance on the field in 2023.
"It makes me feel special," Moore said. "When a team does that—they just want one specific player—that means a lot. It hit home that I'm really welcome here."
As Moore alludes to, the Bears were persistent in acquiring Moore for the very reasons above. Most importantly, they gave their young quarterback, Fields, additional weaponry to help him in the passing game.
Last season, Fields didn't reach his full potential in that area. He threw for a lowly mark of just over 2,200 yards along with 17 touchdowns. His completion percentage barely scraped over 60 percent and he was the most sacked quarterback in the league.
Yes, improvement is required on his end. But the lack of talent in the pass-catching room, along with an insufficient offensive line, served as the coup de grâce for Fields in the passing game.
He was forced to extract the bulk of his offensive work from his legs. Fields ran for over 1,100 yards and added an unexpected, yet vital wrinkle to the Bears' offense that bolstered their attack nearly into an above-average cohort.
Hopefully, however, that won't be the case next season with a much improved wide receiver core and steadily enhancing offensive line. Moore helps the Bears' odds of improving their offense significantly.