What will the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver room look like in 2022? That’s a question that is tough to answer as we sit here in February. While it’s certain that wide receiver Diontae Johnson will be back in 2022, there seems to be some speculation that the other wide receiver currently under contract for 2022, Chase Claypool, might could be traded away.
A few days ago, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com posted an article that included 20 potential under-the-radar NFL trade candidates for the offseason and Claypool was included on that long list.
Below is what Fowler penned about Claypool potentially being an offseason trade candidate:
“Claypool is a massive talent drafted by general manager Kevin Colbert, who is stepping down after the draft. A new GM might want to build around Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth on offense. While Johnson’s targets increased every year, from 92 to 144 to 169, Claypool’s dropped slightly from his first to second season, from 109 to 105.
Coach Mike Tomlin having to address Claypool’s “missteps” and “growth and development” in the media due to the receiver’s lack of awareness late in games or obvious maturity issues isn’t ideal. The Steelers usually stand behind young players, but if there’s a chance to acquire great value, Pittsburgh would be smart to listen.”
The Steelers would indeed be smart to listen to any offer for Claypool, who had a very disappointing sophomore season in 2021. That said, the Steelers don’t have much of a history when it comes to them trading away players still on rookie contract and especially players drafted within the first three rounds. In short, it would likely need to be a hell of a deal or part of a draft day trade up package for the Steelers to deal away Claypool this offseason.
While Claypool and Johnson are both currently under contract with the Steelers for the 2022 season, fellow wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud aren’t, as of the time of this post. Washington isn’t likely to be re-signed as we sit here in early February. As for Smith-Schuster’s chances of returning for the 2022 season, it’s probably 50/50 right now. Of the three of Smith-Schuster Washington and McCloud, the latter probably has the best chances of probability of re-signing.
The Steelers did not select a wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft and because of that, its nearly guaranteed that they will select one in the 2022 NFL draft. additionally, there’s a good chance that the Steelers will select a wide receiver with one of their first three draft picks this year.
We will have to wait and see what the Steelers wide receiver room looks like come the draft. While I don’t think that Claypool will ultimately be traded, he would be the one the Steelers would trade if they deal away any of them at all.