Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles turned from a seller into a buyer at Tuesday's trade deadline.
The Bears acquired wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 2023 second-round draft pick, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday, per a source informed of the move. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added that the Steelers are receiving the Bears' original second-round pick -- not the pick they received in Monday's deal with the Ravens for Roquan Smith.
ESPN first reported the news.
Chicago fans have been clamoring for Poles to make a move that would help second-year quarterback Justin Fields' development. Poles finally answered that call on Tuesday, albeit for a steep price for a former second-round pick in his third season. The 24-year-old Claypool is under contract through 2023.
In Claypool, Chicago gets a strong, big-bodied boundary receiver who can help stretch the field and pairs well with Darnell Mooney in the Bears' offense. Claypool went for 800 receiving yards in his first two seasons with Pittsburgh and caught 11 total touchdowns. In 2022, he's caught 32 passes for 311 yards and one score.
Claypool was expendable with the Steelers extending Diontae Johnson in the offseason and surging rookie George Pickens looking for more targets. But Pittsburgh wasn't going to sell Claypool for cheap. They got excellent compensation in a second-round selection. The Steelers weren't done on the day, as they were also buyers, acquiring disenfranchised cornerback William Jackson III from the Washington Commanders in a trade that included a late-round draft pick swap, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. A low-risk addition for the Steelers will see Jackson reunite with Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who coached Jackson in 2018 while both were with the Cincinnati Bengals.
After trading away veteran defensive players Robert Quinn for a fourth-round pick and Smith for second- and fifth-rounders, Poles flipped some of his assets for a young receiver. Claypool can grow with Fields and expand an offense that desperately needs wideouts who can generate separation, make contested catches and gain yards after the catch.
The Bears are waiving wide receiver Isaiah Coulter in order to make room for Claypool, per Pelissero.
Poles' deadline deals acknowledge the need to add offensive talent around Fields. He did so by shipping out veteran defenders who weren't in his long-term plans. After Tuesday's acquisition, Poles still has eight draft picks in 2023 and more than $100 million in cap space to continue his rebuild.