NFL Analyst Throws Shade Over The Bears Trade For Chase Claypool

Chase Claypool, Bears
NFL Analysis Network

The Chicago Bears were the most active team in the NFL ahead of the trade deadline. It made sense that they traded away some veterans for future draft capital as this is a rebuilding team that needs as many assets as possible to build a foundation. 

Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith will help them achieve that, as they were traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens, respectively, for A.J. Klein and a second, fourth and fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. While it was not surprising to see the Bears trade away veterans, what was surprising is that they were buyers at the same time.

Shortly after the Smith trade was announced, the Bears completed a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, acquiring wide receiver Chase Claypool. Chicago is sending their second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft over to Pittsburgh, not the one acquired via the Ravens.

On the surface, this is a trade that makes some sense for Chicago. What they put around Justin Fields coming into the season would get most people fired as they were lacking talent in the skill position groups. Claypool, in theory, should be a nice upgrade as a complement to Darnell Mooney.

He possesses the size of a move tight end and the vertical skill set of a speed receiver. That is the kind of combination teams seek out for No. 1 receivers as Claypool can be a great fit for Fields if used differently than he was in Pittsburgh. Giving him a chance on deep routes and jump balls would bring the most out of him.

However, there are some skeptics when it comes to the deal. Eric Edholm of NFL.com is one of them, as he questioned if this was an overpay by the Bears. Claypool has potential, but he has failed to realize it in the last few seasons in Pittsburgh.

“But the price the Bears paid felt steep, trading away a pick that could be in the 30s overall. Claypool hasn’t matched his rookie-season brilliance statistically and arguably hasn’t gotten better since then. The Steelers’ declining QB play likely has had an effect on this, but Claypool’s performances have been inconsistent at times, especially with his hands.”

Those are legitimate concerns for the Bears, who may have jumped the gun a little early on being buyers. However, Fields has begun showing signs of improvement in the last few weeks and the organization felt this was the time to strike to try and maximize it, giving them half of a season to work together to evaluate things for the future.

If Claypool’s lack of progression comes down to inconsistent quarterback play and lack of creativity by the offensive coordinators in Pittsburgh, the Bears could have a long-term weapon for Fields to throw the ball to in the Windy City.