In need of playmakers on offense, the Chicago Bears traded a second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Chase Claypool last season. Through 10 games he's been a bust, totaling 18 catches and times noticeably lacking effort or having a higher opinion of his abilities than what he has shown.
After suggesting he didn't think the Bears were putting him in a position to succeed last week, Claypool was not active on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. It eventually came out he was asked not to attend the game, and he will also be away from the team this week heading into a short week Thursday night game against the Washington Commanders.
On Sunday NFL Insider Jordan Schultz reported the Bears are trying to trade Claypool, and are asking for a fifth or sixth-round pick (Good luck). In a vacuum, as hinted by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Claypool's physical profile and skill set could appeal to Lions' general manager Brad Holmes.
NFL Rumors: The Lions are unlikely to even bother with Chase Claypool
It feels like a lot longer ago than that, but Claypool had nine touchdowns for the Steelers as a rookie in 2020. He had over 100 targets again in 2021, but dropped to two touchdowns. Then the Steelers were willing to part with him, and got far more than it now looks like they should have for Claypool.
There's something to be said for a player and team just not being a good fit, and it can't be fully known when someone is initially brought in. And it's not like the Bears are a picture of a well-run team, or a good locker room culture. So Claypool may simply need a change of scenery to get back on track. But it's also telling that the Steelers/Mike Tomlin decided to be done with him too.
The Lions, or any other team who might want him, could just wait for the Bears to release Claypool. It's unlikely they're getting much action in trade talks, and if so it's certainly not at the price Schultz reported they want. Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports has offered up the idea the Lions could offer a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick for Claypool, as a no-risk, take-it-or-leave it type offer.
One way (a trade) or the other (being released), Claypool's time with the Bears is ending. The Lions have the kind of culture that could revive his potential, but it feels unlikely they'll even bother with him and there's no good reason they should.