According to a recent article from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Chicago Bears can’t keep Chase Claypool away from the team with pay unless Claypool agrees to do so. They could suspend him without pay, but they’d need to have some documented reason for doing so, and as Florio pointed out, if they had some, they would already be doing that.
Per the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement, at some point, Claypool can ask to return to the Bears, and if the team doesn’t want him back, they’ll then have to cut him or trade him.
There could be more to this story than Claypool talking with the media about his use in the offense or a lack of professionalism around Halas Hall, which was alluded to by head coach Matt Eberflus. But I’m not sure you can suspend a player without pay for being late to meetings and not giving full effort. If it comes to that, it would need to be decided between the player, the NFLPA, and the league.
But as the situation stands right now — Claypool asked to stay away from the club — that will end when Claypool wants it to end.
I can’t see any scenario where the Bears would welcome him back, so I’d expect him to be waived or traded soon.
Pro Football Focus’ Brad Speilberger was a recent guest on Bill Zimmerman’s Bears Banter podcast, and he speculated that the best the Bears could hope for in return would be a future seventh-round pick.
This latest drama has torpedoed any trade value he had, so unless a team desperately needs a wide receiver and doesn’t want to risk losing him on the waiver wire, the Bears will likely cut him.