Arrival of D.J. Moore could complicate Bears’ relationship with Chase Claypool

The Steelers traded receiver Chase Claypool in lieu of giving him the contract he surely will be expecting, possibly before the 2023 season begins. Now that the Bears, who acquired Claypool for a second-round pick, have added receiver D.J. Moore in the trade out of the No. 1 overall pick in the draft with the Panthers, the relationship with Claypool could become complicated.

Moore’s contract averages more than $20 million per year. He’ll make slightly more than that in 2023. Next year, his pay dips to $17 million. In 2025, he’ll make just over $16 million.

Given the cash flow in the final two years of the contract, Moore may be looking for a new contract after the coming season. Claypool quite possibly is looking for one now.

With the receiver market sent haywire last year and given the ongoing growth of the salary cap, what will Claypool want? What will he get? This could be Chicago’s final year under the Justin Fields rookie contract, although a long-term deal likely would carry manageable cap numbers in the early years.

The question from the standpoint of overall roster construction becomes the amount of money that will be invested in the receiver position. Will they pay Claypool now, and then face potentially having to pay Moore later (or sooner)? Will they eventually have $50 million in cap space devoted to the top two positions on the receiver depth chart?

Or maybe Claypool will get hot-potato’d to a new team, with the Bears recovering a draft pick for a player that can’t or won’t pay what he wants. Or maybe they’ll keep him for 2023, and let him walk away in free agency.

It’s currently unclear what the arrival of Moore means to Claypool. But it surely means something, even if what it means is that the Bears will be investing a lot of future cash and cap space in the wideout position, years before they become a team that plays indoors.

Arrival of D.J. Moore could complicate Bears’ relationship with Chase Claypool originally appeared on Pro Football Talk