It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard the name of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool tossed around and speculated as a tradeable option by the major media but that indeed happened on Wednesday. It was Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk who did it during an interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Chase Claypool got traded before the deadline,” Florio said during his Wednesday interview. “That wouldn’t surprise me because I don’t think they’re gonna pay him the way they paid Diontae Johnson. He’s gonna want even more than Johnson. You gotta hold some back for [George] Pickens. Once you see that Pickens can get it done. I think you have to put on the table the possibility of trading Chase Claypool.”
For starters, notice that Florio said by the 2022 trade deadline. Even so, the odds of such a thing happening probably depends on if the Steelers are buyers or sellers at that point of the season. Trading Claypool before the 2022 trade deadline doesn’t make since and mainly because he is cheap and has playing experience. Additionally, as good as rookie wide receiver George Pickens seems like he might be right out of the chute, he is still a rookie.
Florio went on to say during his Wednesday interview that he believes there will be plenty of teams interested in trading for Claypool should he indeed be on the market.
“Hey, I’m sure there’s plenty of teams out there that would be interested in Chase Claypool because I think if you get him in the right offense and he really could explode,” Florio said. “And I don’t know how much Ben [Roethlisberger] liked him. I don’t know how much Ben trusted him. I was amazed when I saw his skill set as a rookie, I was like, man, they need to get this guy the ball a little bit more.”
Claypool not getting the ball more than he has to date likely had nothing to do with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger not liking the wide receiver. In fact, Claypool is tied for the 27th most targets in the NFL the last two seasons with 214. He only caught 121 of those targets. That’s the problem. It had nothing to do with Roethlisberger.
Currently, it seems like Claypool is set to be the Steelers’ primary slot receiver in 2022, which was the role that JuJu Smith-Schuster primarily manned the last several seasons. Pickens is likely to be the Z receiver when the team uses 11 personnel. If the Steelers were to trade away Claypool, either Gunner Olszewski or rookie Calvin Austin III would need to man that inside position.
Once again, Claypool is just in his third season, and he’s scheduled to earn just $1,211,512 in 2022. Heck, the Steelers couldn’t give him an extension right now if they even wanted to because of CBA rules. Why would they trade away experienced depth right now. Next offseason might be a different story as Claypool would be entering the final year of his rookie deal. If he shines in 2022, he might be very marketable throughout next offseason.
In closing, I will be very surprised if the Steelers were to trade Claypool before the 2022 regular season starts. The more likely time would indeed be right at the trade deadline and especially if the Steelers were out of the playoff race by then.
By the way, the NFL trade deadline in 2022 is Tuesday, November 1, and that’s two and a half months away from now.