June 13, 2024

Chase Claypool joined the Buffalo Bills seeking a fresh start and an opportunity to revive his career, but one analyst believes the veteran wide receiver will face significant challenges to secure a spot on the final roster.

The Bills signed Claypool, formerly with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins, in free agency, hoping he could bounce back from a difficult period and return to the promising form he showed in his first two NFL seasons. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report identified Claypool as one of the veterans with the most to prove as offseason practices commence, highlighting the tough competition he faces due to the team’s extensive changes at wide receiver.

**Chase Claypool’s Summer Challenge**

Claypool seemed poised for stardom early in his career with the Steelers, achieving 800 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons. However, his performance declined, leading to trades to the Chicago Bears and then the Dolphins, where his productivity plummeted, making just four receptions in nine games. He then signed a one-year, $1.1-million contract with the Bills.

As Knox pointed out, the Bills have bolstered their receiving corps significantly after losing their top two receivers, Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.

“In Buffalo, Claypool will get to perform with a top-tier quarterback in Josh Allen. However, he’s also facing long odds just to make the team,” Knox wrote. “Buffalo parted with Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis this offseason but also brought in the likes of Mack Hollins, Curtis Samuel, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and rookie first-round pick Keon Coleman.”

Knox mentioned that Claypool’s modest contract makes him an “easy cut candidate” if he doesn’t show significant promise over the summer. A strong performance at OTAs, which began this week, would greatly enhance his chances of securing a roster spot.

**Veteran Rehabilitating Reputation**

Claypool is striving not only to revitalize his career but also to repair his reputation. As Tim Graham of The Athletic pointed out, Claypool faced “harsh criticism for being selfish and emotionally immature” as his career declined. However, the veteran receiver denied these allegations.

“It’s frustrating, especially when it’s so far from the truth,” Claypool said to reporters after the team’s practice on May 21. “But I’m not here to prove that I’m not what they say. I’m just here to be what I am and be a part of the team. I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong or right. I’m just being who I am.”

Claypool emphasized that he has never had issues with teammates and sees his move to Buffalo as a fresh start for his career.

“In the buildings, I don’t think it’s ever been an issue,” Claypool said. “But in terms of a fresh start with a new perspective of who I am, it’s awesome. I know none of the guys look at what’s online because they know some of that is misleading. I love how they just treat me like family right away, and I don’t come in with any baggage from the outside world.”

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