This is a big season coming up for Chicago Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool. The Bears acquired Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers at last season’s trade deadline, sending what would become the No. 32 overall pick in return.
That became an exceedingly steep price to pay given the return on investment. He recorded 14 receptions for 140 yards and zero touchdowns in seven games with three starts. Claypool, who is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, had a message for anyone who has doubted the work he’s put in this offseason.
Bears’ Chase Claypool Sends Strong Message to Critics
Chase Claypool Responds to Critics
“Oh shoot! I have to post workout stories so people get off my ass,” Claypool wrote in an Instagram video on July 16 before continuing. “Never gonna happen. That [poop emoji] lame.”
Chicago Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool responding to those that think he’s not training enough this offseason.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) July 16, 2023
Rumors of discontent among some of Clayplool’s teammates have dotted the offseason chatter.
But Claypool was among the players who went to Florida during their downtime before training camp to work out with quarterback Justin Fields who has come out and commended the embattled wideout for his progress this offseason.
“Chase is improved tremendously just from the end of last year to now,” Fields said via the team’s Twitter feed on May 23. “That’s one thing I’m truly proud to say. Just seeing his work ethic, his attitude changed. You can just see he’s taken another step. So definitely excited for that.”
Chicago added D.J. Moore from the Carolina Panthers this offseason. He arrives just one year removed from posting his third straight 1000-plus receiving yard season.
He fell just 112 yards shy.
With a bonafide top option in Moore and the healthy return of Darnell Mooney – who posted a 1000-yard campaign in 2021 – from an ankle injury that cut his 2022 season short, Claypool has gone from potential savior to need to prove himself despite the Bears’ significant investment.
Outside Doubt in Chase Claypool Remains High
“Chase Claypool has a high ceiling as an offensive playmaker….But the 25-year-old didn’t quite show it after getting traded,” wrote Jake Rill of Bleacher Report on July 17. ”Perhaps that’s because he didn’t know the offense that well, or maybe it’s a sign of things to come…And maybe Claypool could even end up as a cut candidate if he struggles during training camp.”
Opinions of Claypool’s work ethic have followed him from Pittsburgh. Local media personalities have even cited an anonymous teammate or teammates as taking issue.
— ESPN 1000 (@ESPN1000) June 14, 2023
Claypool, who has spent some time modeling this summer, has pushed back against the narratives floating around about him before. But the only way for them to change will be with his production on the football field.
The big-bodied pass catcher has yet to record a 1000-yard campaign but did notch back-to-back 800-plus yard seasons to begin his career and snagged nine receiving touchdowns as a rookie. The talent is there but it’s up to him and the Bears to unlock it consistently.