The Kansas City Chiefs have long since moved on from their season-opening debacle that saw several drops in key moments by the wide receivers play a significant role in losing to the Detroit Lions on a night that was supposed to be celebrating their second championship in three seasons.
But they still find themselves on the shortlist of potential trade destinations for disgruntled Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool, according to NFL insider Matt Lombardo of Fanbuzz.
“No one is going to pay a high price for Chase Claypool,” an NFC East scout said, per Lombardo on October 2. “I don’t know which teams would even really need him. But, if you look at teams like Philadelphia or Kansas City, maybe even Detroit … Teams making championship runs could view him as a quality backup or depth piece.”
Scout Names Chiefs as Potential Trade Destination for Bears’ Chase Claypool
Chiefs Join Eagles, Lions as Potential Trade Partners for Bears
The scout listed the Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Detroit Lions as potential suitors.
“If there is one general manager and organization that have seemingly prided themselves on flipping mid-to-late-round draft picks to acquire a player with a first-round pedigree to try to get the most out of their potential, it’s Brett Veach and the Kansas City Chiefs,” Lombardo wrote.
He noted that the Chiefs are still working through quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ “target hierarchy”. Justin Watson perhaps unexpectedly leading the receiver room so far.
Rashee Rice easily leads Chiefs WRs with a yards per route run of 2.5. Justin Watson is the next closest Chiefs WR at 1.91.
Rice easily leads Chiefs WRs in PFF grade at 79.0. Watson is the next closest at 65.9.
After a month, it's pretty clear that Rice is KC's best receiver.
— Adam Best (@Arrowhead_Adam) October 2, 2023
Against a fired-up New York Jets defense that intercepted Mahomes twice, tight end Travis Kelce led the way as usual with six receptions on nine targets for 63 yards. But no other pass catcher surpassed the 43 yards gained by Isiah Pacheco – a running back – on his three catches.
Watson has 163 yards on eight grabs in 13 targets to lead all pass-catchers on the season.
Rookie Rashee Rice leads the receivers with 140 yards on 13 receptions in 19 targets. Next is Skyy Moore with seven grabs in 15 targets for 112, a mark matched by backup tight end Noah Gray who did it in eight grabs on 13 targets.
The bigger issue for the Chiefs – who have shown a propensity to prefer trying to platoon the wide receiver spot sans Tyreek Hill – is that no one has emerged from the group.
Chase Claypool Defines Risk-Reward
Claypool stands 6-foot-4 and is listed at 230 pounds. He is a substantially bigger-bodied target than any current Chiefs wideout. But his production has not matched his physical profile. Claypool has four receptions in 14 targets for 51 yards and one touchdown this season. He totaled 14 grabs for 140 yards on 29 targets after the Bears acquired him last season.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 17, 2023
He had impressed coaches and teammates this offseason before getting hurt.
Now, due to questionable effort during the week leading up to last week’s game and previous instances, he was a healthy scratch in Week 4. And has been told to stay away from the facilities this week. The Bears face the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football.
Potential Asking Price for Chase Claypool Revealed
We may also know what it would take to pry Claypool loose from the Bears. They surrendered a second-round pick that wound up being the No. 32 overall selection in this year’s draft.
They could be ready to take a significant haircut.
“The #Bears are looking to trade WR Chase Claypool, asking for a 5th-or-6th round pick in return,” posted NFL insider Jordan Schultz on October 2. “GM Ryan Poles has been actively calling teams he believes are in the market for a receiver.”
That is a relative bargain. And Claypool is on an expiring contract. The Chiefs will be forced to hold onto him if it does not work out with them either. After all, the Steelers are not prone to letting players go that can help them win. But Claypool’s measurables will continue to intrigue front offices and the Chiefs could seize on the deep discount.
Main Photo: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports