The former Steelers wideout is in his third season and has one drop on 48 targets this season, per PFF. Claypool has 32 catches for 311 yards and a touchdown so far this season, but he hasn’t quite vibed with Steelers signal-callers Kenny Pickett or Mitch Trubisky. Bears general manager Ryan Poles is hoping he’ll develop solid chemistry with Bears quarterback Justin Fields, and he’s waging a significant future asset on it.
Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Bears are sending their 2023 second-round draft pick to the Steelers in exchange for Claypool, who has over 2,400 receiving yards in two and a half seasons. As it turns out, the Bears may have initially offered less for Claypool but upped their offer — and it resulted in besting the rival Green Bay Packers for Claypool’s services, according to one league insider.
Josina Anderson: Bears ‘Swooped in,’ Stole Chase Claypool From Packers
NFL insider Josina Anderson of CBS Sports revealed shortly after the Bears added Claypool that the Packers were also in the thick of things. “It was looking like Green Bay was potentially going to offer the best deal for Chase,” Anderson tweeted. Instead, the Bears “swooped in” and nabbed Claypool, per Anderson.
“My understanding is, after an offer was made this morning on Chase Claypool initially and it wasn’t good enough–the #Bears figured another team was involved and they had to up the ante, and did,” Anderson added in a separate tweet.
Time will tell if Claypool will work out in Chicago, but you have to hand it to the Bears GM for being aggressive when it comes to adding weapons for Fields, who desperately needs them. The Packers have been getting the best of the Bears on the field for years now (they have won seven straight), but Poles scored an off-the-field victory for Chicago before the trade deadline.
Packers Twitter not Happy About Bears’ Trade for Claypool
According to Andrew Fillipponi of 937 The Fan, the packers also offered a Round 2 selection for Claypool:
Regardless of who offered what, Poles and the Bears crushed any hopes Aaron Rodgers had of teaming up with Claypool. Rodgers said he wasn’t surprised the Packers were in on Claypool, and he seemed to express mild disappointment he hadn’t heard any news about his team adding a WR.
Some members of Packer Nation suggested the Bears overpaid for Claypool, but by that logic, Green Bay also spent too much on rookie wideout Christian Watson, who remains wholly unproven.
The general consensus among Packers fans, though, was frustration and vexation.
Claypool is having a slow start to the season, and is averaging just 9.7 yards per catch and 3.1 yards after the catch, but he has been stuck with sub-optimal quarterback play since entering the league in 2020. Per CHGO’s Will DeWitt, Claypool “has 765 career YAC and 93 career first downs,” and he also averaged more than 14 yards per catch over his first two years in the league. If he can get back to that type of production with Fields as his QB, the sky could be the limit.