Before the trade deadline, the Bears (3-11) dealt their 2023 second-round pick to the Steelers for receiver Chase Claypool, a three-year veteran. So far, the deal looks dismal for Chicago, whose second-round pick sent to Pittsburgh will be high in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Since 2020, teams have completed nine trades in which a wide receiver was moved for a return that included a first- and/or second-round draft pick. Here’s how those deals stack up to Chicago’s trade for Claypool:
Texans trade DeAndre Hopkins to Cardinals
The trade: Arizona got Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-rounder. Houston got RB David Johnson, a 2020 second-rounder and a 2021 fourth-rounder.
What they said: ESPN’s Bill Barnwell: “Even if Hopkins falls flat on his face in Arizona and [David] Johnson returns to form in Houston, this would be a disastrous trade for the Texans in terms of failing to maximize or remotely comprehend player value.”
Hopkins is the Cardinals’ leading receiver since his arrival. The Texans massively undersold one of their best assets.
Rams trade Brandin Cooks to Texans
The trade: Houston got Cooks and a 2022 fourth-rounder. Rams got a 2020 second-rounder.
What they said: ESPN’s Bill Barnwell: “Cooks is likely to be a better wideout over the next several years than whomever the Texans would have drafted in the second round.”
Cooks has not matched the production he had in Los Angeles on his new team. The Rams did not hit a home run with the pick they got in return (used on Van Jefferson), but they did free up crucial cap space.
Vikings deal Stefon Diggs to Bills
The trade: Buffalo got Diggs and a 2020 seventh-rounder. Minnesota got a 2020 first-rounder, fifth-rounder, sixth-rounder and 2021 fourth-rounder.
What they said: CBS Sports’ Dan Schneier: “It’s very rare that an NFL trade ends up as a victory for both sides, but this deal has a strong chance of evolving into a win for the Vikings and Bills for a variety of reasons.”
Diggs has proven to be one of the NFL’s elite wide receivers. The Vikings used the pick they got in return to select Justin Jefferson, who is in that group with Diggs.
Falcons send Julio Jones to Titans
The trade: Tennessee got Jones and a 2023 sixth-rounder. Atlanta got 2022 second-rounder and a 2023 fourth-rounder
What they said: Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com: “We can knock the Falcons for not landing the first-round pick they reportedly wanted in return for Jones … but that price always seemed ridiculously high for a player in his early 30s and with a massive contract.”
Packers trade Davante Adams to Las Vegas
The trade: Las Vegas got Adams. Green Bay got a 2022 first-rounder and second-rounder.
What they said: CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan: “A first- and second-rounder is a hefty price to pay for a player that you’ll also have to give market-setting money to, but this is a no-brainer move for the Raiders.”
The Raiders reunited Adams with his college quarterback, Derek Carr. Adams is fourth in receiving yards and tied for first in touchdowns in the NFL. Meanwhile, Green Bay has struggled to replace his production.
ADVANTAGE: Las Vegas
Chiefs send Tyreek Hill to Dolphins
The trade: Miami got Hill. KC got a 2022 first-rounder, second-rounder, fourth-rounder, 2023 fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder.
What they said: Pro Football Network’s Mike Kaye: “While the Dolphins are paying Hill a ton of money, his talent should help make their young QB a lot better.”
Hill has had an immediate impact on the Dolphins passing attack. He is second in the league in receiving yards and tied for seventh in touchdowns. Kansas City has not taken a step back despite losing a key piece of its passing attack, but the Dolphins have gained far more than the Chiefs.
Titans trade A.J. Brown to Eagles
The trade: Philadelphia got Brown. Tennessee got a 2022 first-rounder and third-rounder.
What they said: Pro Football Network’s Mike Kaye: “After spending back-to-back Day 1 selections on wideout prospects in 2020 and 2021, the Eagles wised up and sent their second first-round pick to the Titans for the real thing: a proven Pro Bowl playmaker.”
The Titans did not want to give a big contract to the star wideout. One man’s throwaway proved to be another’s franchise wide receiver; Brown has added an entirely new dimension to the Eagles passing attack and is a big reason why Jalen Hurts is in the MVP conversation.
Ravens trade Marquise Brown to Cardinals
The trade: Arizona got Brown and a 2022 third-rounder. Baltimore got a 2022 first-rounder.
What they said: CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin: “Not only are the Cards potentially placating their star QB, who’s angling for his own payday and will benefit from an additional deep threat, but they’re getting a possible long-term playmaker at a premium position.”
The Ravens used the draft pick to select center Tyler Linderbaum. Losing Brown has not hurt the Ravens’ passing attack tremendously — they have fallen from 13th in 2021 to 16th in passing offense this season. The Cardinals offense, meanwhile, is one of the league’s more disappointing units. Brown only has three TD catches.
Through five weeks with the Bears, Claypool has 12 catches for 111 yards. Chicago has lost seven straight, with their last win coming two weeks before Claypool’s arrival. The rebuilding Bears sent a valuable draft pick for a wide receiver who has not helped the team.
In 2023, Claypool will still be under contract on the last year of his rookie deal. He is only 25 and can still prove to be an important piece for this offense.
But as it stands now, this deal looks terrible for Chicago.