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Report: CFL team adds Chase Claypool to exclusive negotiation list

One Canadian Football team is preparing for the possibility that Chase Claypool leaves the NFL. According to multiple reports, the Saskatchewan Roughriders added the former Bears receiver to their exclusive negotiation list.

That doesn’t mean Claypool is headed back to Canada, where he grew up, or even that he’s spoken with the Roughriders. CFL by-laws allow teams to carry 45 names on their exclusive negotiation lists, and that just means that if a player on that list decides to come to Canada they have the exclusive rights to sign him.

Claypool remains a free agent this offseason after a rocky year with the Bears and Dolphins. Right now the free agent market has cooled as teams prepare for the draft, but there’s a chance Claypool still signs on with a team that missed out on WR depth heading into training camp.

The Bears traded a second-round pick for Claypool partway through the 2022 season. It took several weeks for Claypool to get his bearings in Chicago after the trade, and just when he appeared ready to break out, he got hurt. Claypool looked primed for a big comeback campaign as a training camp favorite for Justin Fields in 2023. Injuries derailed him once again, however.

When Claypool was finally healthy again, his effort as a run blocker and route runner came into question. Claypool’s play was so lackadaisical there was speculation that head coach Matt Eberflus might bench him in Week 2. Shortly thereafter, Claypool called out coaches for using him improperly. One day later after that, Claypool was made inactive for the team’s Week 4 game against the Broncos. The Bears went as far as to ask Claypool to stay away from the team. Bears GM Ryan Poles then traded Claypool and a 2025 seventh-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick.

Claypool played only 10 games for the Bears, and the Bears lost all 10 of those games. Over that span he caught 18 balls for 191 yards and one touchdown.

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