Much of the offseason speculation regarding a new contract for a certain Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver centers rightfully on fourth-year receiver Diontae Johnson.
However, third-year Steelers’ receiver Chase Claypool is entering a pivotal season for the black and gold, not only on the field where he needs a significant bounce back season, but off the field as well, at least from a potential future contract standpoint.
Throughout the offseason, the wide receiver market in the NFL has exploded due to the Jaguars’ signing of Christian Kirk, as well as the trades and extensions of Davante Adams with the Raiders and Tyreek Hill with the Dolphins. While Claypool isn’t in the same stratosphere as Adams and Hill, the shift in the market will certainly affect him him after the 2023 season, when he’s either due for an extension from the Steelers or will hit the open market in general.
Despite that hanging far over his head, Claypool — while speaking to reporters Thursday following the final day of OTAs at the Steelers’ UPMC Rooney Sports Complex — stated that he’s not focused on his second contract right now. Instead, he’s focused on bouncing back and staying the moment, which will allow him to eventually get the second contract that he’s working for.
“No, I mean, I think in my mind, if anything, is always thinking about taking care of my family and the second contract will help me do that,” Claypool said to reporters, according to video via 93.7 The Fan. “But I never look at, ‘oh, this is what I need. I need to do this to get this.’ I try to stay in the moment and not get too distracted by things like that.”
Claypool sure sounds like he’s off to a fast start off the field, sounding more mature and well-thought out with the media. That’s a very measured, safe answer overall from the third-year receiver.
Of course, the thought about his contract situation has crossed his mind, especially after watching receivers in the NFL getting monster contracts overall this offseason. Focusing on staying in the moment and not getting distracted by the impending contract situation should help Claypool bounce back in a big way in an expanded role, which should ultimately lead to either a second contract with the Steelers, or a lucrative deal in free agency.