Bears Add Former 2nd Round Playmaker for QB Justin Fields in Major Trade

Justin Fields

Getty Justin Fields has a new WR.

Just several hours prior to the NFL trade deadline on November 1, the Chicago Bears finally added a significant weapon for quarterback, Justin Fields. Fields Yates was first to break the news.

Per NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Bears are sending a 2023 second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for wide receiver Chase Claypool.

Just a day after trading linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens and acquiring future second- and fifth-round picks in return, Bears general manager Ryan Poles took one of the team’s two 2023 second-rounders and nabbed Claypool.

Per insider Ian Rapoport, Pittsburgh will receive Chicago’s original second round selection in the trade, so it will be the Bears’ highest pick in Round 2.

Justin Fields Is Getting Big-Bodied Target in Chase Claypool

The 6-foot-4, 238-pound Claypool gives Fields a big-bodied target capable of stretching the field and will immediately give the team’s lackluster WR corps a jolt. Check out the fight this dude has:

A second-round pick out of Notre Dame for the Steelers in 2020, Claypool has played in 31 games over the 2020-21 seasons, starting 19. As a rookie in 2020, he caught 62 passes for 873 yards, tying for a team-high nine touchdowns in 16 games (six starts). In his second season, the 24-year-old wideout put up similar numbers, catching 59 passes for 860 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (stats via Pro Football Reference).

So far in 2022, Claypool has 32 catches for 311 yards and a score through eight games. That total would put him second on the Bears in receiving yards behind Darnell Mooney, who has 364 yards so far. Claypool is a true ‘X’ receiver, and should pair nicely with the likes of Mooney, rookie Velus Jones Jr. and N’Keal Harry.

Twitter Reacts to Bears Trading for Chase Claypool

Trade rumors have been swirling around the new Bears wide receiver over the last month, and while Poles has been a big seller leading up to the trade deadline, sending starting defenders Smith and Robert Quinn to the Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, he finally made his first big trade acquisition.

The reaction to Chicago trading for Claypool was generally positive:

Others noted Claypool’s combination of size and athletic ability will be great for Fields and his development.

Some pointed out that adding Claypool should be a good thing for Fields and the Bears offense, sending a Round 2 selection for a receiver who was taken in the same round less than three years ago may not be ideal:

Insider Adam Jahns noted that the addition of Claypool was likely spurred on by the recent growth of Fields, who is coming off one of the best games of his career (he went 17-of-23 with 151 passing yards and three total touchdowns in Chicago’s 29-49 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, finishing with a passer rating of 120.0, a career-high.

Claypool will have a familiar face when he lands in the Windy City, as he was teammates with Bears tight end Cole Kmet at Notre Dame. He’ll also come cheap cap-wise.

According to Over the Cap, Claypool has a base salary of $1.2 million this year, and $1.5 million in 2023, and while the Bears will likely extend him in the future, he comes at a discount now. Plus, the Bears won’t have to extend him if he doesn’t perform well this season and next, as they’re inheriting his rookie contract only.

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