Now that we’re in full offseason mode, all of the takes and opinions are flying. The Chicago Bears enter a pivotal offseason which they hold a lot of power, and there’s a ton of positive belief around this team.
But, one specific story continues to be a stain on Chicago’s early offseason, and that’s the “what could have been” question when it comes to the Chase Claypool trade last season.
The Bears dealt their own second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for Claypool, which ended up being the 32nd pick in the draft. Remember, Miami forfeits their first rounder, therefore the first pick of the second round becomes no. 32.
While Claypool’s numbers as a Bear don’t tell a pretty story, one would be right to say that it is entirely too early to say that the Steelers won this trade.
Time will tell if the Chicago Bears or Pittsburgh Steelers won the Chase Claypool trade
If you thought the Bears were going to trade a second rounder for a guy who would only end up with 14 catches in Chicago last year, go buy yourself a lottery ticket. Yes, his final numbers in Chicago were not ideal.
Claypool wasn’t even used as often as fans would have liked to see. However, that can also be attributed to a few factors. Most importantly, the Bears very well could be playing the long game with Claypool. Bringing him along slowly and integrating him into the offense in time could be part of the plan.
Let’s be real, here. If Claypool had come in and been utilized heavily, the Bears could have won another game or two. He has the big play ability. We know that.
But, if the Bears had won another game or two, then they wouldn’t be in this position to draft no. 1 overall.
This is all part of a slowly-developing plan. Just like last offseason, when people complained Ryan Poles didn’t do enough to help Justin Fields, they didn’t understand this was going to be about 2023, not the current league year.
Poles’ plan has always lined up with going big in 2023, and that’s what he’s going to do. He now has the ammunition both in cap space and the draft to make huge ripples across the league. The offseason, in essence, runs through Chicago now.
To call the Steelers a winner in this trade would be entirely too soon. We haven’t seen what Claypool can do when fully immersed. We also haven’t seen who the Steelers take with that draft pick. Let’s calm down with these early overreactions and allow the process to play out.