Chicago Bears seeking to trade Canadian receiver Chase Claypool after benching: report

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Duane Burleson

The Chicago Bears are actively looking to trade Canadian receiver Chase Claypool, according to a report from NFL insider Jordan Schultz.

Claypool was a healthy scratch for the Bears on Sunday, who dropped to 0-4 in a 31-28 loss to the Denver Broncos. General manager Ryan Poles has reportedly been shopping the 25-year-old, seeking a fifth or sixth-round pick as compensation.

The Bears originally acquired Claypool in November of 2022, sending a second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers that was used to select cornerback Joey Porter Jr. The six-foot-four, 238-pound target proved to be a non-factor down the stretch, catching 14 passes for 140 yards in seven games.

The Abbotsford, B.C. native has been a source of controversy since the start of the 2023 season, earning intense media criticism for his lack of effort in a Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He made waves earlier this week for saying the Bears’ offence was not putting him in the best position to showcase his skillset, prompting his benching.

“Sometimes the things around you either elevate you or you have to adapt to allow you to elevate with them,” Claypool told reporters. “So I’ve just been adapting to the new system and my new role in the system and trying to make the most out of it.”

Chicago head coach Matt Eberflus denied any connection between Claypool’s inactive status and his criticism of the offence during his post-game address to the media, but said that the receiver chose not to attend the game or be on the sideline with his teammates. A Bears’ spokesperson later contradicted that statement, saying that Claypool was told by management to stay home.

In three games this year, Claypool has caught four passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Originally selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of the University of Notre Dame, Claypool had a sensational rookie season with Pittsburgh, catching 62 passes for 873 yards and scoring 11 total touchdowns. He posted virtually identical yardage the following season, recording 59 receptions for 860 yards, though he scored only two touchdowns.

Things have only gone downhill in the year since, as Claypool’s well-earned reputation for inflammatory public comments and selfish play have made him a lightning rod for criticism. He could soon be on his third professional team before the expiration of his rookie contract.

In 49 career games, Claypool has recorded 171 receptions for 2,235 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has also rushed 33 times for 171 yards and two scores while connecting on one passing touchdown.

The NFL trade deadline is set for Tuesday, October 31.