LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- The Bears and Packers have met 205 times on the field in the NFL’s longest-standing rivalry. On Tuesday, they had a matchup in the trade market.
The Bears acquired receiver Chase Claypool from the Steelers in a trade, sending a second-round pick back to Pittsburgh. It was a victory for Chicago over its rival from Green Bay, as the Packers also coveted the 24-year-old Claypool in a deal, according to multiple reports.
On Thursday, Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who was hired from the Packers in January, played coy when asked about Claypool landing in Chicago instead of Green Bay.
“What, they were trying to get him? That’s how in the dark I am,” Getsy said when asked about the Packers’ efforts to trade for Claypool. “You just enlightened me. So, I had no idea.
“We’re happy to have him. We’re excited to have him. Just his physical presence already, you see the guy walk in the door and you’re excited about what he can bring for our team.”
Claypool had 32 receptions for 311 yards and one touchdown over eight games in Pittsburgh this season. A second-round pick of the Steelers in the 2020 NFL Draft, he has 153 catches for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns over 39 career games. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 season, though Bears general manager Ryan Poles indicated the team would be interested in exploring a contract extension if it’s earned.
The Bears (3-5) anticipate Claypool playing against the Dolphins (5-3) on Sunday at Soldier Field, Getsy said. However, the team is still determining what type of role he’s ready to play.
The Bears parted with their own second-round pick for Claypool on Monday, one day after acquiring a second-round pick and fifth-round pick from the Ravens (5-3) in exchange for star linebacker Roquan Smith. Given that Chicago’s second-round pick will likely be higher in the draft order than Baltimore’s selection, Pittsburgh was more interested in that draft slot for Claypool.
The Packers also offered a second-round pick for Claypool, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, but the Steelers believed the Bears' second-round pick will be better. The Packers (3-5) have the same record as the Bears, but Green Bay is focused on winning this season as Chicago is eyeing its long-term future. Two-time reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers has struggled to build a connection with his Packers receivers after the team dealt star Davante Adams to the Raiders this past offseason.
It all led the Steelers to accepting the Bears’ offer for Claypool – and left the Packers without an impact player they could've used.
“I’ve really liked the way that our offense is starting to come together and move," Poles said. "I thought it was important to add another impact player to our offense to go along with the guys that we currently have in the receiver room right now. I like the way Justin is trending, and I think adding another big body who’s physical, explosive, great leaping ability, can stretch the field but also is violent with the ball in his hand as well as a blocker, I think it enhances everyone around him.”
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.