Steelers Trade Proposal Flips Veteran to NFC Foe for 2023 Draft Pick

Mike Tomlin

Getty Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks onto the field.

The 2022 season has gotten off to a slow start for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After dropping to 1-3 following an October 2 loss to the New York Jets, head coach Mike Tomlin has some critical decisions to make.

While it’s too early to call the season a total failure, it’s never too early to consider making moves, especially with the November 1 trade deadline looming.

Pittsburgh has only five picks in the 2023 NFL draft. They’re in a transition period and can use help everywhere, especially along the offensive and defensive lines.

There’s been buzz about whether Pittsburgh would consider trading Chase Claypool. The Steelers are deep enough at receiver should they be willing to unload him to a needy team in exchange for a draft pick.

Claypool was linked to the Chicago Bears this offseason when linebacker Roquan Smith was allegedly on the trade block, but that fizzled when Smith stayed in ChiTown.

Fast forward a few months, and the Bears are in the market for a starting pass-catcher, one of their weakest position groups.

It’s a small sample size, but if quarterback Kenny Pickett continues the trend from his first game, Claypool will be the odd man out. It appears he’s the fourth option in the Steelers’ passing game behind Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Proposed Trade: Steelers Send Chase Claypool to Buffalo Bills

Another trade option keeps Chase Claypool in the AFC. Typically, sending a player to a team the Steelers see often wouldn’t be a smart move. However, after October 9, Pittsburgh and the Buffalo Bills won’t be going head-to-head as frequently as they have in recent years.

Determining the schedule of inner conference teams that aren’t in the same division is as simple as going by the record each team finished. For the past three seasons, the Steelers and Bills have been at the top of their respective divisions and battled each other regularly. While Buffalo is expected to be kings of the AFC East for as long as Josh Allen is their quarterback, the Steelers are, let’s say, in a period of transition in a challenging AFC North.

Bills pregame and halftime show host Nate Geary floated the Claypool to Buffalo scenario. While he’s premature in saying the Steelers will lose to Buffalo, he’s not wrong in considering Chase Claypool.

Beyond star Stefon Diggs, the Bills are hurting at receiver, as the pass-catching room has an ankle pandemic. Gabriel Davis has been dealing with a pesky ankle injury since Week 1. Jamison Crowder is out indefinitely with a broken ankle and Jake Kumerow is out for a few weeks with the dreaded high ankle sprain. Khalil Shakir is the only wideout not listed on the injury report behind Diggs and Davis.

Steelers Compensation for Chase Claypool Trade

What could the Pittsburgh Steelers get in return for Chase Claypool? Getting back a pick where they drafted him would be nice, but with an eye toward the future, a third-round 2023 pick could do the trick.

The Steelers pulled off a similar scenario when they jettisoned Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders. Pittsburgh selected wide receiver Diontae Johnson with the No. 66 pick (third round), the first of two it received from Oakland in exchange for Brown.

We know the Steelers have a knack for scouting and selecting elite talent at the receiver position. Should they unload Chase Claypool, there’s no doubt they’ll turn around and find an equal or better player in next year’s draft.