LAKE FOREST – He was supposed to have some time off since his former team was on their bye week, but that changed early Wednesday afternoon.
“Not a vacation, but definitely a little getaway, mental reset, for sure,” said Chase Claypool of his plans for when the Steelers were supposed to be off. “But now I’ll just shift my focus to the Bears bye week.”
That’s not coming for about a month thanks to the trade that brought him to Chicago from Pittsburgh in exchange for a second round pick in the 2023 draft. The third-year receiver, who was a 2020 second round selection out of Notre Dame, now gets a new start with the Bears with a year-and-a-half remaining on his rookie contract.
While it’s a busy time for Claypool, who now has to learn a new playbook before he likely makes his debut for the Bears Sunday at Soldier Field against the Dolphins, there is excitement for his opportunity.
So what does he want to be for the Bears now that he’s arrived?
“I’m a playmaker, and I’m excited to make plays,” said Claypool. “i feel like I didn’t have the full opportunity to show what I can do this year, but I think I’ve been able to show that in the past. I’m excited to be able to gain that trust of Justin (Fields), too, where he knows if he needs a play, he can come to me.”
Claypool has shown that at times during his two-and-a-half years in the NFL, making 153 receptions for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns in 39 regular season games.
So far in 2022, he had 32 catches for 311 yards and a touchdown in eight games in the 2022 season.
Now he’ll get to work with quarterback Justin Fields, who is playing well of late as he continues in his second season in the NFL. It’s a signal caller that Claypool is familiar with as they now team up for the final nine games of the 2022 season and beyond.
“We’re part of the same agency so we have some common ground there and I’ve been watching him as of late in terms of their most recent primetime game,” said Claypool of Fields. “I know a lot of people are excited about how he’s been playing, and obviously, I’m one of those people, so I’m excited to work with him.”