Chase Claypool’s ugly bar fight makes Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster re-signing a little better

Chase Claypool's ugly bar fight makes Steelers' JuJu Smith-Schuster re-signing a little better

The Steelers Free Agency has passed out people all over Pittsburgh scratching their heads and crying birds. What are those once-crafty Steelers thinking!?!

Now, supposedly promising Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool kicks his team while they’re down by getting involved in a lousy bar fight in California, with a damning video to boot.

Yeah, yeah, Claypool fans: I realize there may be extenuating circumstances here, and surely more context to the story will be coming. But that’s precisely the wrong image at the wrong time for these Steelers. Aspiring NFL stars like Claypool need to realize that they are under a microscope at all times, especially in a bar rigged with video monitors. In fact, wherever you are in public, you had better smile because the chances are good that you are on camera.

Claypool isn’t smiling now. And neither do the Steelers.

Wasn’t it bad enough that free agency had already raised eyebrows on the faces of many Steelers fans?

Your favorite football team’s stumbles are reminiscent of the classic Rolling Stones rocker, “You can’t always get what you want” – except the other way around. Instead of getting what the team need, the Steelers indulge reckless fans in their wishful thinking (if not unnecessary).

Unusually, the Steelers have rewarded the kind-hearted fans by re-signing their always smiling and savvy social media recipient JuJu Smith-Schuster. With this, JuJu lovers got what they wanted.

Sadly, the Steelers didn’t deliver what the team needed, at least by the standards of any clear-headed fan who cares about defense and the little things like winning.

This criticism is crystallized by the rejection of starting cornerback Steven Nelson.

Smith-Schuster returns to a receiving room of absolute abundance. Plus, the Steelers are ridiculously good at drafting and developing young talent for catching passes. The most recent example of this is former wide receiver Chase Claypool, who is now fighting. More information on his untimely parlor fists in a second.

In the Steelers’ non-genius simultaneous shot, the team told their starting cornerback to look for a trade or take a walk. Somehow, Steven Nelson’s services on an increasingly thin secondary was inexplicably no longer needed. Worse yet, the Steelers are clearly terrible when it comes to writing cornerbacks.

Artie Burns, anyone? (I did not think.)

It was a money transfer, the Steelers will tell you. Perhaps.

But it was bad football.

Cue all the dismay in Steelers Nation. Pittsburgh is rightly perplexed. Is it just a bad month. Or does that portend a pathetically poor Pittsburgh pigskin season to come?

Caustic Steel City sports analysts don’t hold back or mince words. Some have been devastating in their criticism of the Steelers’ seemingly absurd free agency moves. And that was all before Chase Claypool was caught on camera apparently testing a kick on a guy on the ground. Oh man!

Bring the river town to you in this controversial edition of the Steelers Update podcast.

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The latest news that adds to the Steelers’ misery comes from the celebrity scandal-focused TMZ website, where a video of wide receiver Chase Claypool kicking a guy in the face is tackled all over the place.

Live Watch from Pittsburgh:

This stupid move by a soaring Steeler is the one thing that makes the JuJu resigning from the Steelers a little better – or at least a little less stupid – in comparison.

Additionally, Claypool’s pugilism showed that JuJu being brutally slapped with the harsh realities of free agency was just a love tap. The veteran Steelers wide receiver with a penchant for self-promotion certainly didn’t catch the huge offers his oversized ego was expecting. But at least his return to run a reception hall that still seems a little immature in light of Chase’s bar fight now makes some semblance of sense to the Steelers.

How are you:

What this means:

Introducing your “mature” veteran Steelers wide receiver as he greets his warm welcome to lead the team of talented young pass catchers on the team. I’m sure we have nothing to worry about now, right?

All he wants is to dance. Past the Pittsburgh greats, not so much:

But did JuJu really choose the Steelers over better deals? Or did the humiliated social media star crawl back to Pittsburgh after her free agency hopes nearly collapsed:

At least someone is happy. Live look at Steelers GM – oops, I mean quarterback – Ben Roethlisberger:

Smith-Schuster certainly can’t smile about the dollars on his deal. Do you mean a real reception room? Here is:

JuJu’s money is two bits compared to Golladay’s Bitcoin. Is that a slap in JuJu’s smiley face? Perhaps.

But it’s better than a kick in the face – isn’t it Chase?

Before Claypool could even think of going on a PR-approved apology tour, Steel City suckers were doing it for him. The young man would have to admit his mistake, even if there are extenuating circumstances here.

Put simply, the former Fighting Irish wide receiver needs to know when to choose his battles. Preferably, it’s on a football field, not inside a living room now.

The timing of the unfortunate incident couldn’t be worse for the humble Steelers. They come out of free agency with little depth and much greater needs.

At least there’s that distant silver lining: If the upcoming season does implode, maybe a franchise quarterback could rise from the ashes of Pittsburgh.

It has happened before:

Bottom Line: This has been another expensive free agency period, proving that free agency is never free for your Steelers. Instead, Pittsburgh is paying a hefty price, not in player salaries, but in all the holes that populate like Swiss cheese in its 2021 roster.

Claypool’s ugly pugilism simply adds an image injury to the plethora of off-season football insults in Pittsburgh.


John Luciew is an award-winning reporter for PennLive and a 25-year Steelers subscription holder. His column and podcast are presented from the obsessively over-informed perspective of an avid Steelers fan. Check out his latest Steelers podcast every Wednesday afternoon wherever you can find podcasts.


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