Bears Cut WR to Make Room for Chase Claypool

Isaiah Coulter

Getty Isaiah Coulter has been waived to make room for Chase Claypool.

In order to make room for new wide receiver Chase Claypool on their 53-man roster, the Chicago Bears have waived wideout Isaiah Coulter, per the NFL’s November 1 waiver wire.

Coulter, 24, was a 2020 fifth-round pick for the Houston Texans in 2020. He caught on with the Bears in 2021, and spent the bulk of the season on Chicago’s practice squad. He landed on the team’s practice squad again this year before getting elevated to the active roster on October 18, after the Bears released wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Considering his familiarity with the team and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system, Coulter will likely land back on Chicago’s practice squad if he clears waivers.

Bears GM Ryan Poles Reveals Reasons for Adding Chase Claypool

In one of the most surprising moves on the day of the NFL trade deadline, the Bears sent their 2023 second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for Claypool, who has caught 153 passes for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns in 39 games (27 starts).

“I thought it was important to add another impact player to our offense to go along with the guys that we currently have in the receiver room right now,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles told the media on November 1.

Bears quarterback Justin Fields has been on an impressive streak over the last five weeks, completing 61% of his passes for 902 yards, five TDs and two interceptions, while also adding 329 yards and two scores on the ground.

In Weeks 7 and 8, Fields scored rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, and his he has gone four straight games with a passing touchdown, the longest streak of his young career. His 424 total rushing yards is currently second-most among all NFL quarterbacks heading into Week 9.

Now, Poles has added to the streaking QB’s arsenal.

“You can never have enough weapons (to) help your quarterback gain confidence,” Poles added. “I like the way Justin is trending. And adding another big body, who’s physical, explosive, great leaping ability, can stretch the field and is also violent with the ball in his hands as well as a blocker helps.”

Poles Also Admitted Lackluster 2023 Free Agent Class Shaped Decision to Add Claypool

The Bears first-year GM also revealed he was aggressive when pursuing Claypool partly because he didn’t like the team’s options on the free agent market in 2023.

“You have to do a little bit of forecasting down the road,” Poles admitted. “That’s part of my job and part of my crew upstairs. I just didn’t feel comfortable (with the available 2023 free agent WRs). Not to say there’s not good players there. I just didn’t feel comfortable with not maybe being a little bit more aggressive at this point. … At the end of the day, I’m a decision-maker and a leader.”

At 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds, Claypool is a smooth combination of athleticism, strength and agility. His ability to stretch the field should vibe well with Fields’ penchant for go routes.

“I am excited about this player,” Poles added, in reference to Claypool. “I’ve really liked the way that our offense is starting to come together and move.”

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