Bears reportedly not happy with Chase Claypool
Matt Marton - USA Today Sports

Bears reportedly not happy with Chase Claypool

by - Senior Writer -

For the Bears to reach the next level as a team and get back into playoff contention, their offense must make significant strides, especially in the passing game. One of those players who the Bears are going to be counting on a ton this season is Chase Claypool, who is enduring his first offseason with the Bears after getting traded to Chicago midseason.

The talented former Notre Dame WR had some tremendous seasons with the Steelers but was inconsistent at best to finish his tenure there. Once he arrived in Chicago, Claypool not only struggled to produce, but it seemed like he had difficulty learning the playbook, which could have been the main reason why he had such a difficult time.

Entering the offseason with a clean slate and given the opportunity to secure the No.2 WR spot across from DJ Moore, things are not looking good for Claypool right now, and the Bears reportedly are not happy with how his offseason has gone so far. Claypool has all the talent and potential in the world to be an excellent WR in this league, but according to team officials, Claypool isn't trending in the direction the Bears expected him to, which is a massive concern.

Things got off to an excellent start for Claypool as he attended the team's first week of off-season activities and looked very good. However, the last three weeks have been more of the same as Claypool has been out with an injury that Head Coach Matt Eberflus says is a soft tissue injury. Whether or not that issue will be a lingering remains to be seen, but this has been an issue since he arrived in Chicago, and it is not a good look for him or the Bears.

The injury is one thing, and Claypool is doing what he needs to do with the trainer to get better, but there is another part of his game that is starting to become an even bigger concern which is the mental side of things as Claypool isn't mentally where the Bears need him to be. Granted, there is still plenty of time for him to get to that level, but if he still isn't mentally there this far into the offseason, it is starting to become a mystery as to what it will take to get him at the level the Bears want or expect him to be.

Entering his fifth season in the league, this could be a make-or-break year for Claypool if he wants to remain in Chicago or secure a long-term deal next offseason. His first two seasons in Pittsburgh were outstanding, while his last two were inconsistent at best. Part of his problem has been a lack of motivation, as he is not good at being a self-motivated player.

As an NFL player, it is up to you to figure out how to motivate yourself, and if Claypool can't do that, there isn't much the Bears and their coaching staff can do for him. Entering a contract year with a chance to prove the Bears made the right decision to bring him in should be all the motivation Claypool needs to go out and get the job done.

Yet here we are in this situation, as he has more question marks than anyone on the roster right now. Although this is not an ideal situation for the Bears, he has plenty of time to change this around, but he needs to figure out a way to motivate himself to do it. Claypool was a second-round, borderline first-round talent with the size and speed you look for in an NFL WR.

At his best, this guy could get you 1200-1300 yards per season while also scoring double-digit TDs. He hasn't come close to those numbers in the past two seasons, and the Bears would love for him to figure out how to get back at that level again. With Moore across from him on the other side, the Bears have two guys capable of getting you 1000 yards which will only help Justin Fields and his overall development.

Even if Claypool doesn't produce at the same level he did in Pittsburgh, there is no reason he can't give Chicago 800-plus yards with seven scores. That is still great production and would be better than any WR the Bears had a season ago. This is something to watch as we approach training camp to see if this lingers into the preseason.

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