Bears Get Warning About New WR Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool

Getty Chase Claypool worked with former Bears WR Brandon Marshall this offseason.

The Chicago Bears made a huge splash on the NFL’s trade deadline, sending their 2023 second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for third-year wideout Chase Claypool.

At 24, Claypool is still coming into his own both talent and maturity-wise, which may be why some analysts and insiders are warning the team and that there may be some less-than-ideal baggage attached.


Chase Claypool Was ‘Distraction’ for Steelers, Insider Says

CBS Sports insider Josina Anderson tweeted that the reason Pittsburgh parted ways with the 2020 second-round WR was likely connected to his off-field behavior.

“From what I am hearing, and been hearing over the last week the #Steelers moved on from what they felt like was somewhat of a ‘distraction’ behind-the scenes,” Anderson wrote shortly after the Bears traded for Claypool on November 1, adding: “I’m told the Claypool move has been on the table ‘for at least two weeks.'”

Claypool was called out for selfishness and immaturity in December 2021 when he took up valuable time by animatedly signaling first down with under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter during a potential game-winning drive in Minnesota against the Vikings.

Claypool was also involved in a bar fight in California ahead of the 2021 season, and while TMZ reported Claypool was not an instigator, the wideout was captured on video kicking a man who was already down on the ground.

Many young receivers have maturity issues after entering the league, and the Bears and general manager Ryan Poles are betting on Claypool growing up a bit in the Windy City.

Bears fans may want to prepare themselves for a rollercoaster with Claypool on the field, as well, if Sean Gentille of The Athletic is correct:

Gentille also had this warning for Bears fans regarding Claypool: “It’s a fun, good move but he is gonna make you periodically sick.”


Claypool Has Been Working With Ex-Bears WR Brandon Marshall

Claypool had over 1,700 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns over his first two seasons in 2020 and 2021, but is off to a bit of a slow start this year, catching 32 passes on 50 targets for 311 yards (9.7 yards per reception) and a score (stats from Pro Football Reference).

One of the most gifted athletes to emerge at the position in years, Claypool earned a 9.98 Raw Athletic Score (RAS), which was fifth-best out of 2,423 receivers from 1987-2020.

Claypool worked with former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall throughout the 2022 offseason, and Marshall says the young WR has one specific area he needs to work on.

Marshall told Steelers Now in August 2022 that Claypool “has everything he needs to be a great receiver but the mental preparation.”

“He has to lean more into being a pro,” Marshall added. “You know I was just talking to him about studying defensive coordinators, and cornerback tendencies. We have to make sure he’s not doing too much, he’s getting off his feet a little bit and cutting off. He’s open to all of it. We had him down at House of Athlete going over things and he had his notes out and his pen moving. He’s a sponge. Chase wants to get better.”

That’s a good sign, and the fact is, 6-foot-4 receivers who also run the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds don’t grow on trees. Clearly, Claypool is gifted, and if he can grow on the field and off, the Bears will likely keep him around for quite some time and extend him in 2023.

 

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