Fans and media have a habit of bandying about trade speculation as part of the general routine. It takes on a bit more of a sense of urgency when you have a team that certainly doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, leaving them to be classed as potential ‘sellers’ at the trade deadline.
Not only does it appear that there has been no indication the Pittsburgh Steelers intend to be sellers ahead of the upcoming trade deadline, however, there is genuine reason to question whether or not they have any commodities worth trading relative to what they would get in return. Based on what NFL reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala has been hearing, it doesn’t sound the case.
Appearing on 93.7 The Fan earlier today, she told Andrew Fillipponi that she has gotten the sense through contacts that the Steelers are not shopping third-year wide receiver Chase Claypool, or even that he is open for offers.
“I did actually talk to two different general managers over the last few days and both of them told me that they’re not hearing Chase Claypool’s name as being available at all”, she said. And she added that there doesn’t appear to be a market, anyway.
“I will tell you this. I did talk to one about what he would give for Chase Claypool, and I wouldn’t trade him for that”, she said, which when pressed offered that it was a “very low pick” in the range of the final two rounds. “That’s not necessarily a statement on who Chase Claypool is; that’s a statement on what the wide receiver market is right now”, she added.
And it is true that the wide receiver position only continues to bloom. It seems that new stars enter the league every year, although not all of them last. Claypool was one of the star rookies of the 2020 season, but he has yet to match that same potential. This year, the very same team is hoping that they have another new star in rookie second-round pick George Pickens.
When it comes to Claypool, one thing that you have to keep in mind is that he is under contract through the 2023 season. And Pickens is under contract through 2025. And Diontae Johnson is under contract through 2024.
And they have a rookie franchise quarterback whom they know they have to surround with talent. It’s something head coach Mike Tomlin has talked about repeatedly. It would be one thing if Claypool were in his final season, but he’s still going to be here for Kenny Pickett in 2023. If you trade him now, all that does is create another need you have to fill next year.
And you can’t reasonably expect to get much in trade value for a player like Claypool. A very late-round pick sounds like what I would imagine a team would be willing to pay for him. He has three touchdowns in his past 22 games, 1277 yards from scrimmage. Nobody is trading for his rookie season, not for anything more than a flier.