The Chicago Bears are trading for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool, ESPN’s Field Yates reported on Tuesday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport followed the news up with a report that Chicago would be sending their own 2023 second-round pick in the trade, rather than the second-round pick they acquired from Baltimore.
Claypool, 24, is in the third year of his NFL career after Pittsburgh selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Through 8 games in a lackluster Steelers passing attack this season, he has tallied 32 receptions, 311 yards and a touchdown. However, Claypool topped 800 receiving yards in each of his previous two seasons, including a stellar rookie season with 62 catches, 873 yards and 9 touchdowns.
This marks the third trade the Bears have made this week, having dealt Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn away prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. While the other moves were aimed towards obtaining draft capital and freeing up future cap space — in Quinn’s case — the acquisition of Claypool represents Ryan Poles’ biggest addition to date.
The Bears’ struggles at wide receiver have been well documented to this point, and adding a 6-foot-4, 238-pound weapon with legitimate 4.4 speed gives them a much-needed upgrade at the position. Claypool figures to step in as a starter alongside Darnell Mooney to form an intriguing tandem of young receivers for Justin Fields to throw to. Given the price the Bears paid to get Claypool, one could expect an extension may also be on the horizon.