The Chase Claypool situation has even more drama.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Chicago Bears have listed Claypool as a healthy scratch for the team’s Week 4 matchup against the Denver Broncos.
After a tumultuous start to his season, #Bears WR Chase Claypool will be inactive today, sources say. Plus, Chicago has a new backup QB.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 1, 2023
This comes a few days after Claypool publicly stated he believed the Bears coaching staff haven’t put him in a position to showcase what he can do best.
The off-the-field issues are a crucial factor for why Claypool will miss this game, but the lack of on-the-field production also has much to do with it. Claypool has had a slow start to the season, recording just four receptions for 51 yards and one touchdown through three games.
But it goes much deeper than just the surface-level stats.
Claypool has caught an abysmal 28 percent of his targets (four of 14), a stark contrast to fellow teammate D.J. Moore‘s 73 percent reception rate (11 of 15).
Claypool has had six more targets, the same amount of receptions and touchdowns, and two fewer yards compared to Darnell Mooney. Compared to tight end Cole Kmet, Claypool has one fewer target but seven fewer receptions and 53 fewer yards.
Claypool’s -3.0 EPA per game ranks seventh-lowest in the entire league among wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends. The receiver has also received scrutiny for his poor efforts in blocking through the first three weeks of the season.
The Bears have gotten Claypool involved in the offense, to their credit. The problem is that the receiver can’t produce and struggles when called upon. General manager Ryan Poles made a steep investment in Chase Claypool, trading the 32nd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for him in November 2022. Now, it’s safe to say the trade has blown up horribly in Poles’ face.
Now, according to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, the Bears are looking to trade Claypool in hopes of salvaging any sort of compensation. They won’t get anything close to the first-round pick they surrendered less than one year ago, but Schultz notes the Bears are looking for a fifth- or sixth-round pick.
Sources: The #Bears are looking to trade WR Chase Claypool, asking for a 5th-or-6th round pick in return.
GM Ryan Poles has been actively calling teams he believes are in the market for a receiver.
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) October 1, 2023
Making Claypool a healthy inactive in Week 4 is a good move. Perhaps it will wake Claypool up and serve as a helpful and much-needed reset.
A reset could do wonders for the disgruntled, criticized, and struggling 25-year-old receiver. If not, Claypool could be shipped out of Chicago by the trade deadline for much less than what Poles traded for him.
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