When the Chicago Bears traded for wide receiver Chase Claypool at the 2022 trade deadline, it appeared like a good decision by GM Ryan Poles. But after the former Pittsburgh Steeler totaled just 14 catches over the final seven games, questions arose about his long-term fit in Chicago.
Indeed, it’s unfair to pass judgment on Claypool after a midseason trade. He was thrust into one of the NFL’s most unproductive passing offenses. Expecting him to produce like a WR1 in an offense still figuring out its passing attack never made sense. But that doesn’t mean expectations won’t be high for the fourth-year wideout in 2023.
Chase Claypool is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He’ll set himself up for a big payday if he enjoys a productive 2023 season. The Chicago Bears will likely meet his contract demands if he plays well, too. Poles made the trade knowing a second contract was right around the corner. It’d be foolish to let Claypool walk if he turns into a 1,000-yard guy.
It would be equally foolish for the Bears to assume Claypool will become that guy. It’s why DJ Moore was such a critical acquisition in the trade with the Carolina Panthers. And it’s why adding a rookie from the 2023 NFL Draft would make sense.