Chase Claypool dubbed Bears’ biggest X-factor in 2023

The Chicago Bears wide receiver group has already come a long way since the 2022 season, where Equanimeous St. Brown and Dante Pettis were the main targets by season’s end.

General manager Ryan Poles has made a concerted effort to build around quarterback Justin Fields this offseason, including overhauling the receiver group. That goes back to last November, when the Bears traded a second-round pick to the Steelers for Chase Claypool.

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While many expected Claypool to have an immediate impact, that wasn’t necessarily the case as it took him time to learn the offense. He had just 14 catches for 140 yards and no touchdowns in seven games. But it was clear the move was for the future, where the expectation is Claypool should have a significant impact in 2023.

Pro Football Focus agrees, dubbing Claypool is the biggest X-factor for Chicago heading into the 2023 season.

The Bears swiped D.J. Moore from the Panthers, and Darnell Mooney is very good when healthy. They sent a high second-round pick to Pittsburgh for Claypool midseason, and so far it has not paid dividends. Midseason arrivals are tough, but Claypool managed just 140 yards in seven games for Chicago. Justin Fields is a deep-ball specialist, and Claypool has the requisite size and speed to excel vertically.

There’s been plenty of scrutiny about the trade, as the Bears dealt their 2023 second-round pick — the 32nd overall selection — in exchange for Claypool, who failed to make an impact.


Now heading into a contract year, Claypool has an opportunity to not only prove those critics wrong but also earn a contract extension with Chicago. And he has the added benefit of WR1 DJ Moore being the focal point on offense.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire