Well, Pittsburgh Steelers‘ faithful can’t say they weren’t warned about it happening. Now, it’s official.
Wide receiver Chase Claypool is being traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a second-round draft pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Field Yates.
BREAKING: The Bears are trading for Steelers WR Chase Claypool, per source.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 1, 2022
It’s a step back for an offense that hasn’t found ways to produce or make life easier on Kenny Pickett. The Steelers haven’t gotten what they wanted out of Claypool over the first few years of his career.
However, it’s clear he has much-needed traits to develop into the player they wanted him to be. Perhaps a fresh start is what he needs.
This will leave Pittsburgh thrusting way more responsibility into recently-paid Diontae Johnson and rookie George Pickens. It will also demand more from Pickett, who will lose the second-most-targeted player on the team of the season.
The good news is that the Steelers are getting a more than fair return for Claypool. The second-round pick they’re getting from the Bears is Chicago’s own pick. That means it’s not the one originally belonging to the Ravens that would surely mean a later slot in the second round.
The Steelers are clearly not contenders this season and it’s time for them to load up for the future. If the season ended today, the Steelers would have the 4th, 35th, and 43rd overall picks of the 2023 NFL Draft.
That would give them plenty of flexibility to move around in April and would keep them in the conversation for a top-tier left tackle or even quarterback if they wish to roll the dice on another rookie.
It sucks to lose talented players like Claypool but it’s part of a rebuilding year.
Featured image via Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports