To say that Chase Claypool's time in Chicago has been a disappointment would be an understatement. And it sounds like his time there could soon come to an end. A day after the Bears made the former second-round pick inactive following prior comments he made criticizing the team, head coach Matt Eberflus told ESPN 1000 that Claypool will remain away from the club this week as they prepare for the Commanders on Thursday night.
"He is not going to be in the building this particular week on this short week. I can give you that," Eberflus said Monday.
Eberflus also seemed to allude to the possibility of Claypool not being on the roster, saying: "Ryan [Poles] makes all transactions and does all things of that nature and we'll see where it goes from there."
Claypool, who was traded from Pittsburgh to Chicago (in exchange for the 32nd overall pick) prior to last year's deadline, voiced his frustration when asked last week if the Bears are best utilizing his talents.
"No," Claypool said after a seven-second pause, via ESPN.
Claypool did not, however, agree with a reporter's follow-up question that his situation with the Bears hasn't been ideal.
"No, I wouldn't say that," Claypool said. "I think every situation has the ability to be ideal and I think we're just working towards that. I'm not going to say that. I wouldn't say it's not an ideal place for me. Obviously there's other places -- you can say, 'Oh, I want to be on the best offense with the highest passing yards' but that doesn't happen in football. You just have to make due with what you got."
Claypool's production has be on a steady decline since his productive rookie season with the Steelers. The former second-round pick has caught just 18 passes in 14 games with the Bears. Along with his lack of production, Claypool's at times has added to the criticism of him and the Bears for giving up a 32nd overall pick in April's draft to acquire the former Notre Dame standout.
This saga is the latest chapter in what has been a turbulent first month of a season for Chicago. On top of Claypool, the club blew a 21-point lead on Sunday at the heads of the Broncos to drop to 0-4. They'll look for their first win of the year when they visit the Commanders on Thursday without Claypool on hand.
With it seeming like Claypool's days in Chicago are numbered, let's take a look at a few landing spots for the wideout.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers did just lose wideout Mike Williams for the season and if they were looking to add some depth to the likes of Keenan Allen, Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer, Claypool -- who will be a free agent after this season -- could be an intriguing option to help out for the stretch run.
Kansas City Chiefs
No Chiefs wide receiver has truly emerged over the first month, so why not inject Claypool into the equation to see if he can spark up a rapport with Patrick Mahomes? While there is questions about Claypool's culture fit in Chicago, Kansas City has a stable enough foundation under Andy Reid where buy-in shouldn't be an issue. And if Reid can tap back into Claypool's potential that he flashed during his early days in Pittsburgh, the receiver is still just 25 years old and, at best, could be a solid piece for Mahomes beyond '23.
Indy is entering a new era with Anthony Richardson under center and there's not a lot of depth at receiver at the moment. Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Piece, Josh Downs, Isaiah McKenzie ,and Amari Rodgers are the only receivers currently on the roster. Claypool would come in and compete for targets as the Colts continue to shape this new foundation on offense with Richardson and under first-year head coach Shane Steichen.
Carolina islooking for additional help at the wide receiver position, so it wouldn't be shocking if they kicked the tires on Claypool. Similar to Indy above, the Panthers are working in No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young and could be looking for potential long-term pieces to pair with him. Claypool would be a younger pass-catcher to inject into the offense and could use the rest of this season to see if he has a rapport with Young before possibly committing to him with an extension this offseason. This would be a cheap and low-risk move for a rebuilding club like Carolina.