Chase Claypool 'can't wait' for next Bears season with Justin Fields
Chase Claypool 'can't wait' for next Bears season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Chicago Bears made a bold decision at the NFL Trade Deadline.
General manager Ryan Poles traded a second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Chase Claypool.
Claypool suffered some injuries and only aught 14 passes for 140 yards and didn't find the end zone. To make matters worse, that second-round pick ended up being the 32nd-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, basically a first-round pick.
It's also hard for a quarterback and wide receiver to develop that chemistry in the middle of a season.
RELATED: Adam Thielen, DeAndre Hopkins among Bears' options to bolster WR corps
But surprisingly Justin Fields has become the center of trade rumors this offseason as discussion rages around what the Bears should do with the No. 1 overall pick.
Trade Fields for draft capital and select a quarterback like Alabama's Bryce Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud?
Many have jumped to Fields defense, and that list includes Claypool.
"The great thing about Justin is he can make his own pocket," Claypool told the Daily Mirror. "He can move along the line and make plays happen that would otherwise be a sack or a loss of yards; he’s able to turn a three-yard loss into a eight-yard touchdown so it’s super exciting to watch him play and grow as a player. I can’t wait for this next year.
"Last season might not have gone our way wins-loss wise, but if you look at the games you can see how close we were and start to understand we could have been a 10- or 11- win team - and we’re young. We’re going to grow, utilize our cap space, utilize the youth on our team and have a really exciting year."
The Bears have more cap space than any other NFL team and figure to be big spenders in free agency, bolstering their roster across the board.
Poles has stood by the Claypool trade, while some second-guess it in retrospect.
"That's the difference between trades in baseball and basketball, it's like plug and play," Poles said in January. "There's an entire offseason and half of a season of installs and all the things you need to do collectively to play and execute offensive play. On top of that, it was a little bit choppy with Justin getting dinged up, [Chase] got dinged up. So it was a little bit choppy of a start.
"I told Chase, and we had a really good conversation, I'm not blinking at that one at all. I think he's gonna help us moving forward, and I'm excited about it."
Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy also was optimistic when thinking about Claypool's role in the Bears' offense season next year.
"I don’t think we have that figured out just yet, but I see him getting a lot of opportunities," Getsy said. "He’s someone that we need to play at a really high level, and he’s capable of that. He’s done that in the past. We’ve got to get the most out of him, and he wants that, too.
"The best thing is that he kind of got his feet wet in Chicago, he knows what we’re doing now, so we can get into the offseason and just kinda take off."
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