The Steelers traded wide receiver Chase Claypool just before the deadline, and so far, Pittsburgh is certainly looking like the winner of this exchange.
Prior to the NFL trade deadline, I was pushing hard for the Pittsburgh Steelers to deal Chase Claypool. Rumors swirled that there was a market for the 6’4” wide receiver, and with Diontae Johnson signed and George Pickens emerging, it was clear to see that Claypool would not have a career in Pittsburgh beyond the 2023 season.
I was ecstatic when they were able to land a second-round pick for the struggling receiver. Despite his struggles with the Steelers this year with two new quarterbacks and an offensive coordinator that didn’t know how to utilize him, I expected Claypool to have a resurgence on his new team. After all, this is the same player who took the world by storm as a rookie with over 850 yards and 11 touchdowns.
However, this hasn’t been anywhere near the case. Not only has Claypool been inefficient in his first two games as a member of the Chicago Bears, but he has been almost nonexistent. So far, the third-year receiver has caught just 3 of 8 targets for 21 yards, according to ESPN stats.
We are just a few weeks into this trade, but it certainly appears that the Pittsburgh Steelers hosed the Bears in this one. Obviously, there is still plenty of time for this to change, but Claypool looks much like the same players we have seen since last year. He’s just not very consistent.
What blows my mind is that Chicago would trade a potentially high second-round pick, yet decide not to use him. After earning 26 offensive snaps in his first game with the Bears, Claypool recorded just 19 snaps this past Sunday against the Lions — recording just 1 catch on 2 targets for 8 yards.
Though Darnell Mooney is expected to be Chicago’s number-one receiving option, Claypool was out-snapped by every other active receiver on the team.
Steelers will win this trade in the end
We may not be able to properly evaluate this trade for another year (potentially even longer). However, it’s hard not to look at the way things have gone so far and say that Pittsburgh isn’t a huge winner in this deal.
The Steelers are coming off a big home win against the New Orleans Saints — a game in which they didn’t seem to miss Claypool at all. Prior to the trade, he was averaging just 38 yards per game in Pittsburgh, so his departure really hasn’t been noticeable so far.
With another Bears loss, the Steelers would currently hold the 37th overall pick acquired by Chicago. Of course, there is plenty of time for this to change, but this is an outstanding pick for a player who wasn’t doing anything in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers still need to spend this draft pick wisely in April, but as of now, there’s no contest: Pittsburgh is winning the Chase Claypool trade, and it isn’t particularly close.