Before the Chicago Bears ultimately sent their 2023 second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Chase Claypool, the New England Patriots were in the mix for the wideout, Mike Florio revealed on PFT Live Wednesday.
"I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole of how the sausage gets made ... how people get their information. I think based upon the way this all fell together yesterday ... I think the Patriots were in it up until the end, I do. I have reason to believe that the Patriots were in it up until the very end."
Florio's insight shouldn't be shocking. While Bill Belichick is typically very complimentary of all opposing players -- even sometimes when it's not warranted -- he was especially bullish when discussing Claypool before a matchup with the Steelers in September:
In addition to the Bears and Patriots, the wide receiver-needy Green Bay Packers also had interest in Claypool. However, Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that while Green Bay was willing to offer a second-round pick themselves, the Steelers were more intrigued by the same offer from the Bears, because they expect Chicago's pick will ultimately be higher.
A second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2020, Claypool has flashed star potential in parts of three NFL seasons, including catching 62 passes for 873 yards and nine touchdowns in his rookie season. Perhaps a change of scenery will help the 24-year-old to realize the star potential that multiple teams clearly believe he has.