Chase Claypool Included in Vikings, Steelers Trade Dialogue

Photo: Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Trade deadline is less than one week away (Nov. 2) and Minnesota Vikings general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, has been tirelessly working the front office phones to celebrate.

This according to top local insider Darren Wolfson (KSTP, SKOR North), who went on the Mackey and Judd podcast Thursday and told listeners/viewers that he’d be surprised if the Vikings do not make a move by the time the deadline passes next week. Kwesi, says Wolfson, has put too much work in with possible trade partners to not close at least one deal.

Vikings making moves on Chase Claypool?

But Doogie went even further, when asked if the Vikings are interested in trading for one of the top receivers being dangled on the trade deadline market. Well, not only are the Vikings shopping the WR market, but they’ve had notable talks with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dialogue that has included inquiries into their young wide receiver, Chase Claypool (06:28 mark — transcript below).

“I have heard that there has been chatter with Pittsburgh. I don’t sense anything is on the cusp, that it has been serious dialogue. But [the Vikings] have at least made an inquiry about [Chase] Claypool. My understanding is there’s been dialogue with Denver but I don’t know the specifics there, so I’m not ready to say yes, they’ve specifically inquired about Jerry Jeudy. Because you think about one of their tight ends that is available. You think about KJ Hamler. There’s a myriad of possibilities in play with the Broncos.” — Darren “Doogie” Wolfson (Mackey and Judd Podcast)

Claypool Specifics and Trade Cost to Get Him

Doogie tries to downplay how serious the conversations between the Minnesota Vikings and potential WR trade partners. But Kwesi, according to Darren’s own words, is expected to make some sort of move before the deadline comes to pass. On top of that, Wolfson ranks wide receiver as one of the top-3 positions he’d expect the Vikings to upgrade.

Doesn’t that make a WR upgrade just as likely as anything else this front office might do in the next week? Sometimes, you have to read between the lines. So if the Vikings did want to target Chase Claypool, what would it take? Not as much as you might think.

Claypool gets a lot of run on ESPN but his career numbers, especially in 2021 and 2022, are rather underwhelming. He hasn’t posted a 1,000 yard season through two full years in the NFL and only grabbed 2 receiving touchdowns all of last season. Through 7 games this year, Claypool has just 24 receptions and 266 yards. Easily on pace to be the worst season of his young career. Doogie believes he can be had for a Day 2 (2nd or 3rd rounder) draft pick.

The Upside is Real for Claypool

Is Claypool worth that? When asking that question, it’s important to remember that Pittsburgh had the decrepit, disintegrating shell of Ben Roethlisberger playing QB for Chase Claypool in 2021. In 2022, it’s been rookie, Kenny Pickett, throwing to him the football.

Because Claypool is a physical freak who stands 6-4, weighs in at 238 pounds and has a vertical of 40+ inches. He’s only 24-years-old, too. If he can be had for a 3-round pick, Kwesi has to put such a move under serious consideration.

Lining Chase up in the same formation as Justin Jefferson would create a lot of anxiety-ridden preparation for opposing defensive coordinators and could be exactly what Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense need to help take some of the defensive pressure off JJ.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan