The Steelers traded Chase Claypool a little over a month ago, but they might have to consider making another move.
It was an active trade deadline for the Steelers, which took place over a month ago. They added a corner to their team, but they also decided to trade away a roster player. Chase Claypool was the receiver that emerged as the most expandable from the group and it was the best decision for the team.
That left the club with rookie George Pickens and the recently extended Diontae Johnson as the top two targets for Kenny Pickett in the passing game. Some wondered if trading away a big target like Claypool would hurt this offense, but it has not had that ramification. Pittsburgh’s offense has not become elite, but they are showing steady signs of improvement over recent weeks.
Receiver has become a highly valued position in football, but the black and gold have been able to find many talents in the draft. That quality of scouting at the position has allowed the Steelers to have confidence in not giving out second contracts to most receivers. They simply draft and replace, which leads to many dollars saved in cap space.
Getting a second-round pick from the Chicago Bears was the right call that sent Claypool out the door. He has not accomplished much with his new team as he does not seem to possess enough consistency in his game. That second round pick seems like it will become as close to a first-round selection that a second rounder can become.
Trading Claypool was the right call, but the Steelers need to consider another one
Even though the Claypool deal seemed like the white flag was being waived by the Steelers, the opposite has happened. Pittsburgh has been able to rattle off a few wins and are trying to find any chance of hope to conclude their season. The remainder of the schedule will allow for both players and staff to prove to this club that they deserve to be brought back next year and beyond.
One player that has always been under the spotlight is Johnson, especially after he was rewarded with a contract extension this past offseason. There is a new regime in town, and they might consider moving him this offseason if they get a good offer. The Steelers are not close to being Super Bowl contenders, but they can get closer if they offload contracts for high draft picks.
If a trade would happen with a team sending the black and gold a first or second round pick, then that would catch the attention of Pittsburgh. They would then need to use one of those picks on another receiver in the draft, but that would save them immeasurable cap space by sending out Johnson’s contract. This would also allow Pickens to become the number one guy on offense without complaints from the other receivers in the room.
The Steelers made the right move by trading away Chase Claypool before the trade deadline last month. They do need to consider moving another star receiver for some extra draft capital and cap flexibility.