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Putting it mildly, it’s not been the greatest 2022 NFL season for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

The two-time reigning NFL MVP took some big hits this past offseason, losing two of his top three targets from a season ago in Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and injuries have decimated his current receiving corps.

While Rodgers has still put up decent numbers, it’s nowhere near what we’ve become accustomed to, and the same can certainly be said for Green Bay’s record.

Following Sunday night’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, their fourth straight defeat, the Packers sit at 3-5 and will need everything to go right in the second half of the season to catch the 6-1 Minnesota Vikings and capture a fourth straight NFC North title.

And for a short time ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, it looked as if Green Bay was set to make a big move to help kickstart that push by acquiring Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Chase Claypool. But in a surprise move, the rival Chicago Bears swooped in and stole him.

The Bears essentially stole Chase Claypool from Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at the trade deadline

Aaron Rodgers during a Packers-Bills matchup in October 2022
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on October 30, 2022 | Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

There’s no getting around the fact that Rodgers has owned Chicago since taking over as the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008, winning close to 83% of his games against the Monsters of the Midway.

The Bears might not be able to beat the Packers on the field, but GM Ryan Poles got a win over Green Bay in the boardroom on Tuesday.

For most of the day, reports were swirling that the Packers were the frontrunners to acquire Claypool, a move with which Rodgers would have undoubtedly been pleased. But out of nowhere, Chicago, who most saw as only a seller during this trading period, hit the buyers’ market and stole him at the last minute, sending a 2023 second-round draft pick to Pittsburgh.


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Green Bay also offered a second-round selection, but the Steelers apparently think the Bears’ now-former pick will be higher, which will likely be the case.

Despite holding the same 3-5 record as the Packers, Chicago is in rebuilding mode, which actually makes this a smart move. Claypool has a year and a half left on his current deal, giving him and Justin Fields some time to develop chemistry. Plus, the Bears already own a second-round selection in next year’s draft, which they received when they sent Roquan Smith to the Ravens.

So instead of using that to draft a receiver, Chicago now gets a young, big, physical, playmaking wideout in Claypool, who recorded 873 and 860 yards in his first two seasons with the Steelers, respectively, and still has that second-rounder to play with.

And knowing they’re not going to compete for the NFC North this year, knocking Rodgers and the Packers’ chances down as well makes the move that much better for the Bears.

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