NFL News: Former Steelers WR Chase Claypool Has Unusual Suitor - Sport News

NFL News: Former Steelers WR Chase Claypool Has Unusual Suitor

Wide receiver Chase Claypool was worth a second-round pick just a year and a half ago. But his next job might not even be in the NFL.

Chase Claypool Responds To Steelers Trading Him To Bears

At least that’s what the Saskatchewan Roughriders appear to be hoping. 3downnation.com’s Justin Dunk reported that the Roughriders added Claypool to the team’s exclusive negotiating list.

That means if Claypool elects to join the Canadian Football League, Saskatchewan will have the first opportunity to negotiate a contract with him.

“It doesn’t mean Claypool is headed for Canada,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote. “But if he ever goes there, the Roughriders have dibs.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Claypool to the Chicago Bears for a second-round pick at the 2022 NFL trade deadline. That second-rounder eventually became the No. 32 overall selection in the 2023 NFL draft. With that pick, the Steelers chose cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

In Chicago, Claypool flamed out. The Bears traded him in a late-round pick exchange to the Miami Dolphins on October 6 last year.

Claypool caught 4 passes for 26 yards in nine games with the Dolphins.

Chase Claypool Continues to Find a New Bottom

Claypool appeared to be on his way to NFL stardom when he set rookie records with the Steelers in 2020. That season, he posted 62 catches for 873 yards.

He also scored 11 total touchdowns, including 2 rushing.

Although Claypool had 2 touchdowns in his second season, he had another solid campaign in 2021, recording 59 catches for 860 yards. With Ben Roethlisberger as his quarterback, Claypool averaged 14.3 yards per reception.

But that yards per catch average plummeted to 9.7 in eight games with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett starting in 2022. He then averaged 10 yards per catch to end the season in Chicago.

Things didn’t get any better for Claypool in 2023. Even with a full offseason in Chicago’s system, he made little impact in three games before becoming a healthy scratch.

Some analysts expected Claypool to bounce back with Pro Bowl level quarterback play in Miami. But even with the Dolphins, Claypool didn’t produce.

He remains unsigned in NFL free agency. But Claypool is not included on many lists of the top receivers available this offseason. There’s at least a decent chance he will remain unsigned at the beginning of training camp.

Steelers Need WR Depth

The Steelers made out like bandits in the Claypool trade with the Bears. But that’s not to say the Steelers have replaced Claypool.

In fact, the Steelers need some of the most help at wide receiver in the league right now. Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger argued that the Steelers may possess a bottom five wide receiver room in the NFL.

“You don’t need to add a number one player at the position, which helps. But do they have a number two on the roster? No,” Spielberger said while appearing on The Fan Morning Show on April 2, via Steelers Depot’s Jeremy Pike. “You could probably argue they don’t have a number three on the roster.”

Outside of George Pickens, who appears set to be Pittsburgh’s top wideout for the foreseeable future, the Steelers don’t have a wide receiver who had more than 209 receiving yards in 2023.

That’s not to say they will be interested in Claypool. The 25-year-old had just 77 receiving yards in 12 games last year.

Claypool has fallen so far from NFL stardom that he may need an opportunity in the CFL to prove he can still play.

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