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Chicago Bears Chase Claypool Pittsburgh Steelers trade

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The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Wide receiver Chase Claypool is heading to the Chicago Bears.

A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press the Pittsburgh Steelers have traded Claypool to Chicago for a second-round pick in the 2023 draft. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not official.

The trade gives Chicago quarterback Justin Fields a downfield threat in an effort to boost a passing attack that ranks last in the NFL, averaging just 126.9 yards per game.

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Claypool has 32 receptions for 301 yards and one touchdown this season for the Steelers (2-6). He also threw the first touchdown pass of his career in last week’s loss to Philadelphia with a short flip to fullback Derek Watt on a gadget play.

The 6-foot-4 Claypool, however, became expendable thanks to the emergence of rookie George Pickens.

Pickens has quickly emerged as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 receiver, bumping Claypool to third on the depth chart behind Pickens and Diontae Johnson.

Claypool was a revelation in 2020 after being grabbed in the second round, scoring 10 touchdowns (eight receiving, two rushing) in his first 10 games while helping Pittsburgh get off to an 11-0 start on its way to the AFC North title.

Replicating that production has proven difficult. Claypool has just four touchdowns in his past 29 games.

The trade gives the rebuilding Steelers more capital in the 2023 draft to help out a group searching for a new identity in its first year without Ben Roethlisberger, who retired in January.

Pittsburgh’s 2-6 start is its worst since 2013. The defense has struggled without injured star linebacker T.J. Watt and the offense is sputtering behind rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Claypool gives Fields another talented — if enigmatic — target to help make the Bears more two-dimensional.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Marner extends point streak to 16 games, Maple Leafs beat Penguins – Sportsnet.ca

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Croatian coach feels disrespected by Canadian coach's comment at FIFA World Cup – Toronto Sun

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DOHA, Qatar — Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said he felt disrespected by Canada head coach John Herdman for his comment in a group huddle following a loss to Belgium on Wednesday.

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After the emotional 1-0 loss at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Herdman gathered his troops on the field and gave an impassioned speech.

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When asked following the game what he told his team, Herdman admitted he told his group to ‘F’ Croatia, in reference to Canada’s second game at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

On the eve of the game Sunday (11 a.m. ET) at the Khalifa International Stadium, Croatian coach Zlatko Zlatko Dalic was again asked about the comment at the pre-match press conference here on Saturday.

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“Canadians must have respect for us and this way of putting words together is not a sign of respect,” Dalic said through an interpreter. “We are the runners up (2018 World Cup), it wasn’t Brazil or Spain or any other country. We are the runners up, we were second in the world, we are worth of respect the way we played, the way we behave, the way we respect all others, is the reason we are worthy or respect.

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“I shall not focus or comment on other people’s comment. We will be prepared, be fit and we will demonstrate respect from Canada and from everyone else. We expect respect just as we exercise this view.”

Croatia was a surprising World Cup finalist four years ago in Russia, beating England in the semifinal before losing to France. Along the way, Croatia also beat Argentina in the group stage.

Croatia was held to a scoreless draw in its opening match by Morocco on Wednesday. Croatia concluded the group stage against Belgium on Thursday.

“The Croatia team deserves respect from everyone; we have proven that by the way we’ve played with our conduct at the World Cup; since the very beginning we’ve deserved respect and dignity,” Dalic said. “We have two (World Cup) medals in the last 30 years and we’re up there with Germany and France and countries like that have such an achievement. We respect everyone equally so we expect our opposing teams to respect us. We are worth of their respect.”

Croatia striker Ivan Perisic was also asked for his thoughts on Herdman’s comments.

“I second the head coach,” he said. “And I cannot wait for the match to begin.”

Email: dvandiest@postmedia.com

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