Chase Claypool won’t be part of the future plan in Pittsburgh and the Steelers need to shop the wide receiver while he still has some value remaining.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers act right now, perhaps they can still convince some team out there to trade for Chase Claypool. Just two years again, the second-round wide receiver out of Notre Dame had a great start to his NFL career — earning 873 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns. Sadly, those days appear to be long gone.
Even in his second season in 2021, Claypool was productive. Though he didn’t have impressive touchdown numbers, he still managed 860 yards and 8.2 yards per target, via Pro Football Reference. However, after struggling to adjust to the football, his reputation started to go downhill last year.
Unforutenaly, Claypool’s value is going down the tubes in a hurry. This year, the 6’4” 230-pound receiver has averaged a dismal 4.4 yards per target and 8.1 yards per reception. While some of this isn’t his fault, it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s not going to be that quality wide receiver the Steelers thought he could be when they drafted him.
As such, we know that Claypool won’t be part of the future plan in Pittsburgh — especially when you consider Diontae Johnson is already making great money on a new contract, and George Pickens looks like he could have the makings of a true WR1. There’s simply no way this team can justify paying Claypool after next season (nor should they at this point), and they need to test the market to see what he’s worth.
Steelers should trade Chase Claypool before the deadline
According to Yahoo Sports, the 2022 NFL trade deadline will be on November 1st by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This doesn’t give Pittsburgh a lot of time to act, so they need to start trying to find a suitor right away.
Obviously, this isn’t how Kevin Colbert and the Steelers operated in the past. They are far more apt to trade for a player before the deadline than deal one. However, new GM Omar Khan has to be aware of the state of this Steelers team right now, and he knows they could use as much draft capital as possible going into next April.
With how bad his performance has been and what little production he has, Claypool has been sabotaging his trade value since the start of the season. He is on the pace for just 438 yards despite starting all five games so far this year. Still, as a former second-round draft choice who tested as a phenomenal athlete, perhaps there’s a team willing to take a chance on reviving his career.
Unfortunately, the potential compensation for Claypool’s services does not seem encouraging. In late August, the Jaguars traded WR Laviska Shenault to the Panthers for just a 6th and a 7th-round draft choice. Like Claypool, Shenault was also a second-round wide receiver from the 2022 draft class.
Claypool does have more production than Shenault over his first two seasons, so perhaps he fetches a bit more, but teams typically value the uncertainty of draft choices over young players from other teams who haven’t performed well.
In the best-case scenario, perhaps the Steelers can get a 4th-round pick in exchange for Chase Claypool and a 6th. At this point, this is something Pittsburgh should probably do. Claypool has not moved the needle in one direction or the other for this team in 2022, and he has rarely been used in the passing game.
In all honestly, the Steeles should really consider trading away several players before the deadline — players who aren’t going to be part of the future plan. This team isn’t going anywhere this season, and they could use as much draft capital as possible.