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Bears GM Ryan Poles explains why he traded for Chase Claypool

The Chicago Bears surprised many with being sellers ahead of the NFL trade deadline, where they acquired receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2023 second-round pick.

General manager Ryan Poles met with the media after Tuesday’s deadline, where he explained the decision to trade for Claypool was in part due to a weak receivers group in 2023 free agency.

“You have to do a little bit of forecasting down the road,” Poles said, “and I just didn’t feel comfortable with that.”

The receiver position has been a huge concern since the offseason, as Darnell Mooney has been the only proven commodity. But the addition of Claypool provides quarterback Justin Fields a big-bodied, vertical threat on offense, which is why Poles went out and made the move.

“I like the way Justin is trending,” Poles said, “and I think adding another big body who is physical, explosive, great leaping ability, can stretch the field but is also violent with the ball in his hand and as a blocker, I think that enhances everyone.”

Claypool, a former second-round pick out of Notre Dame, still has one year remaining on his rookie deal after this season. Now, Claypool has an opportunity to build a rapport with Fields and earn a lucrative contract extension with the Bears.

Mooney, Claypool and Velus Jones Jr. are the only receivers under contract for the Bears in 2023, and it’s still a position that needs to be addressed this offseason. But, now, Chicago doesn’t have to overpay for an underwhelming receiver in free agency.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire