NFL trade grades: Dolphins rescue Chase Claypool from Bears' sinking ship

The Bears traded Chase Claypool to the Dolphins in a trade that, on the surface, looks great for all sides.

Chase Claypool, Chicago Bears
Chase Claypool, Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

On Friday morning, the Chicago Bears announced they were trading wide receiver Chase Claypool to the Miami Dolphins. The news was first reported by Dianna Russini.

The trade involved a swap of late-round draft picks in 2025. Miami gave up a 2025 sixth-rounder in return for Claypool and a 2025 seventh-rounder.

After weeks of rumors surrounding Claypool's pending divorce with the Bears, Chicago found a willing trade suitor for their disgruntled wideout.

A quick timeline of how we got here: Claypool's attitude and work ethic was first criticized in Week 1 against the Packers when Claypool didn't appear to put much effort into running routes or blocking for his teammates; he apologized to the Bears afterward. Claypool was listed as a healthy scratch in Week 4's loss to the Broncos, when the Bears franchise reportedly told him to stay home. Earlier this week in the days leading up to the Bears-Commanders TNF matchup, Claypool was once again told to stay away from the team.

Here are our grades for the Chase Claypool trade.

NFL trade grades: Bears ditch Chase Claypool and his bad vibes in Miami

Chicago Bears: B

The Chicago Bears did it. They got their first win of the 2023 season on Thursday night against the Washington Commanders. Their second big win? Finally getting rid of Chase Claypool.

Claypool's time in Chicago was marred by more controversy than anything else. He was traded to the Bears in late 2022 by the Steelers, who got a second-round pick out of him (that turned into Joey Porter Jr.). Obviously, the Bears weren't going to get that much this time around, but they still receive an above-average grade for eking some draft capital out of their disgraced outcast.

During Claypool's short tenure with the Bears, he has never won a game; Chicago is 0-10 in games which featured Claypool, so offloading him may be good for the overall vibes of the team.

Our only issue with the trade is that the Bears don't have much wideout depth with Claypool gone. D.J. Moore balled out in Thursday's win and Darnell Mooney got a solid amount of targets, yet behind those two, the team has a young and unproven unit with Velus Jones, Tyler Scott, and Trent Taylor.

Ditching Claypool feels like the easy way out. Couldn't the Bears have tried harder to make things work with the ex-Steeler who hauled in 800 yards in his first two NFL seasons? Maybe some things just weren't meant to be. We'd have loved to be a fly in Ryan Poles' office during the Claypool saga, though.

Miami Dolphins: B+

A Fins fan's initial reaction to the Chase Claypool trade may be: Why??? The Dolphins don't need this drama.

However, even with the baggage that Claypool brings to Miami, the Dolphins' offense feels rock-solid this early into the season. At worst, Claypool would serve as a minor annoyance, a gnat to be occasionally swatted by Mike McDaniel on the sidelines. He's not going to disrupt whatever McDaniel has cooking for the rest of the season.

Claypool's stats in 2022 and 2023 prove he's only a shell of the former productive wideout he was years ago in Pittsburgh. He had 18 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown in 10 games with the Bears.

He'll slide in as wideout depth behind Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, perhaps jostling against Robbie Chosen for snaps. One has to at least chuckle at the melodrama of the Dolphins' current wideout room: Hill, Chosen, and Claypool? Talk about egos and personalities clashing. That has to be one of the wildest trios the league.

In any case, adding Claypool just gives the Dolphins another set of hands to catch the ball, probably during garbage time when the Dolphins are up 30 points against their next victim.

Chase Claypool: A+++

A word for Claypool himself: Congratulations. He gets yet another fresh start in his career, and he couldn't have landed in a more high-performing offense. Claypool's the real winner of this trade.

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