Busy hands are happy hands, and Ryan Poles has been a busy — and happy — man.
A day after trading Roquan Smith to the Ravens for a second-round pick, the Bears GM made another move, this time swinging a deal for Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool in the hours leading up to the NFL trade deadline.
Everyone knew entering the 2022 season that the Bears wide receiver room was thin, and adding Claypool to the mix should provide another target for Justin Fields, who has been operating with half a deck this year.
Now, with Claypool in the fold — and under contract for another year — the big-bodied wideout gives Chicago the help it needed on offense, but maybe not a true difference-maker. Still, it’s better than nothing.
MORE: NFL trade deadline tracker — Latest news and more on deadline day
Here’s how the trade breaks down:
Chase Claypool trade details
- Bears receive: Wide receiver Chase Claypool
- Steelers receive: 2023 NFL Draft second-round pick
The deal comes in the wake of the Bears trading Roquan Smith to the Ravens for a second-round pick, but Chicago is giving up its own second-rounder, not Baltimore’s, according to Ian Rapoport, which figures to be higher in the draft order when it’s all said and done.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2022
Claypool, who was coming due for a new contract in the next year or so, fits what the Bears want on offense, in a big target. He’ll pair opposite of Darnell Mooney, Fields’ favorite target, in their offense. He’s operated primarily out of the slot in 2022, but has a history of playing outside.
At the macro level, the trade seems to indicate that Chicago may be more comfortable paying Claypool than paying Smith — a shrewd organizational decision, if true.
On the other side, the Steelers have, historically, not paid out big bucks to wide receivers and have a reputation of drafting and developing stars. Claypool was one of their latest examples, but now he won’t be able to finish out his career in the Steel City.