Chase Claypool + Vikings Rumors Are Semi-Credible

Chase Claypool + Vikings Rumors Are Semi-Credible
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL’s trade deadline is November 1st, and the Minnesota Vikings appear to be interested in adding an extra wide receiver.

The Vikings already employ Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, Jalen Reagor, and Jalen Nailor, but Super Bowl-contending teams rarely decline an opportunity to get richer.

Insert rumors about Chase Claypool, a third-year wideout for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Purple Rumor Mill: Big-Name WR, Asamoah's Time, Gravy Baby
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Claypool, 24, is reportedly on some version of the Steelers trade block, as Pittsburgh’s WR room contains Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Miles Boykin, Steven Sims, and Gunner Olszewski. For some reason, Claypool could be the odd man out amid the current sixsome.

And the Vikings, who apparently want more pass-catchers, could indeed be one of the suitors for the brash Claypool. KSTP‘s Darren Wolfson said this week on a SKOR North YouTube show, “I have heard that there has been chatter with Pittsburgh.”

The Vikings and Steelers did business in August, swapping offensive lineman Jesse Davis to Pittsburgh for a conditional 7th-Round draft pick to Minnesota in 2025.

“I don’t sense anything is on the cusp, that it has been serious dialogue, but my understanding is they have at least made an inquiry about Claypool,” Wolfson added.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

The Claypool tidbit is the second time this week that Wolfson has mentioned the Vikings interest in a WR via trade.

Pittsburgh selected Claypool with the 49th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, 26 spots after the Vikings found Justin Jefferson from LSU. Too, Minnesota obtained another wide receiver from the same draft class in August, trading a conditional 4th-Round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for Jalen Reagor.

If Vikings bossman Kwesi Adofo-Mensah swung a deal for Claypool, the franchise would boast a three-headed 2020 alumni monster, showcasing Jefferson, Reagor, and Claypool.

Longtime Vikings WR Adam Thielen is 32 years old, and fans tirelessly debate whether the home-state hero is “slowing down” or merely not granted enough attention within a new offense. Acquiring Claypool — or someone else like Brandin Cooks or Jerry Jeudy — would emphatically indicate the Vikings front office believes the former.

As a rookie, Claypool seized 62 receptions for 873 yards and 9 touchdowns. But since then, Claypool has produced less, tabulating 860 yards in 2021 — with only 2 touchdowns — and on pace for 646 yards this year. His 60.9 Pro Football Focus grade suggests something isn’t entirely clicking for Claypool in Mike Tomlin’s offense, led by a twosome of Mitchell Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett at quarterback.

Claypool could also be an unfortunate playing-time casualty to the aforementioned Pickens, who looks promising as a rookie.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool. © Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

It is unclear what the Vikings would have to trade for Claypool, but a 3rd- or 4th-Rounder is a sensible asking price.

The Vikings don’t have 4th-Rounders to trade until 2025, but the 2023 and 2024 3rd-Rounders are available. Adofo-Mensah has about 3.5 days to decide on Claypool or other trade targets.

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Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).