The trade talk surrounding third-year Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, even with the Steelers reportedly being reluctant to deal him.
That landing spot? Remaining within the AFC with the Tennessee Titans.
In Renner’s hypothetical trade, Claypool would head to the Titans for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick, which would be quite the return package for a receiver with a year and a half left on his contract, a return that the Steelers would undoubtedly be pleased with.
“Claypool has reportedly been at the center of trade talks for the Steelers following their 2-5 start. He’s fallen out of favor a touch with the emergence of rookie George Pickens,” Renner writes regarding the hypothetical trade of Claypool to the Titans. “With a year and a half left on his rookie contract, Claypool could still fetch a hefty deal on the open market.
“At 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds, Claypool also fits the ethos of the Titans’ offense. He’s a big-bodied, big catch-radius receiver who can work the middle of the field while also stretching the field. That’s what Tennessee hoped Treylon Burks could be out the gate, but the rookie has taken a while to get going.”
There is no real evidence that the Titans are even interested in the big, fast receiver, who has struggled the last two years to truly put it all together after an impressive rookie season. That said, the fit — at least on paper — makes a ton of sense.
After trading away star receiver A.J. Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft for the first-round pick ultimately used on Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks, the Titans are still in desperate need of some help at receiver. Currently, veteran Robert Woods is the No. 1 in Nashville.
It may make some sense for the Steelers to explore a trade of Claypool, considering he’s very clearly the No. 3 receiver in Pittsburgh from a targets perspective, and will be entering the final year of his rookie contract this offseason, and is very unlikely to receive an extension or re-sign in Pittsburgh after the 2023 season, so recouping some draft capital for a guy who is almost undoubtedly out the door anyway in a year’s time might be the best move.
That said, the Steelers are trying to develop rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, and trading the starting slot receiver and dependable — as of late — third down receiver seems more counterproductive to that developmental at the moment.
But, if a trade return like the one Renner suggested for Claypool is one that the Steelers are offered for the former Notre Dame star, that would be hard to pass up from the black and gold’s perspective.