Darnell Mooney’s first big purchase was a ‘jugs’ machine originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Darnell Mooney will eclipse north of $2.5 million dollars in total NFL paychecks by the end of next season. He signed a four-year deal, that’s halfway done with the Bears, out of the 2020 NFL draft.
Yet, according to a feature done by The Athletic, Mooney used his NFL money to buy a ‘jugs’ machine as his first big purchase. The two-wheeled machine with a belt on each will spits out footballs at quarterback-like speed for wide receivers to practice.
The machine cost him $1,700. He bought one for himself to keep in Chicago and another for his alma mater, Gadsden City High School, in Alabama for the kids to use and for him to practice with when he goes home.
According to the same story, he practices with the machine indoors during the winter months where “he has extra motivation to catch every ball, as he doesn’t want to damage the walls.”
Mooney could certainly use the practice. Shifting over to the team’s number one pass-catching option, he has big shoes to fill after Allen Robinson’s departure to the Los Angeles Rams.
In Mooney’s rookie season, he was targeted 98 times and caught 61 balls from Mitch Trubisky, leaving him with an acceptable 62.2 percent catch rate. He punched in 631 yards and four touchdowns as a very active part in the Bears’ offense.
Last season, Mooney took on a larger role. He saw an increase in targets (140) and caught 20 more passes from rookie quarterback Justin Fields and veteran Andy Dalton. But, his catch rate went down nearly five percent to 57.9 percent.
Hopefully, the jugs machine helps him prepare for the largest role he’ll take on in his young NFL career. Behind him, the Bears have Byron Pringle, Velus Jones Jr., and newly acquired N’Keal Harry.
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