Trade Pitch Moves Bears Off Caleb Williams for Elite QB, Adds 2nd-Rounder

Bears Trade Caleb Williams Bears Rumors Rapoport

Getty USC's Caleb Williams is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Chicago Bears appear locked in to USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the top pick in the NFL draft, but GM Ryan Poles may still have an unexpected move up his sleeve.

Williams is the consensus No. 1 player in the 2024 class, though the Bears organization was present in force for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s pro day on Friday March 22. Jayden Daniels of LSU also beat out Williams for the Heisman Trophy last season, while Drake Maye continues to rank among the top two or three quarterbacks on most mock draft boards.

Chicago is going to select a QB at, or near, the top of the draft after dealing three-year starter Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional sixth-round pick earlier this month. But it isn’t beyond Poles to move down a spot or two if he likes another player better than Williams and pick up a valuable draft asset in the process.

That is the premise for a trade pitch authored by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report on Sunday, March 24, in which the Bears flip the top pick to the Washington Commanders for their No. 2 selection as well as the 36th overall pick in the second round.

Bears May Prefer QB Other Than Caleb Williams With Top Pick

Drake Maye, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Drake Maye of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Michael David Smith of NBC Sports reported over the weekend that Washington will listen to trade inquiries for the No. 2 pick.

[Head coach Dan] Quinn said the Commanders are getting close to setting the top of their draft board, but haven’t finished evaluating the quarterbacks,” Smith wrote. “Quinn did say the Commanders’ phone is ringing in trade talks and the Commanders will listen, but it sounds unlikely that anyone would offer enough to get them to move down.”

Chicago is in a different situation, however, as it could afford the Commanders the chance to move up to draft Williams — a hometown hero in D.C.

“There’s no guarantee that Williams is Chicago’s preferred target. [NFL Network’s Ian] Rapoport reported on March 12 that the Bears were still very much in the evaluation process,” Knox wrote. “If the Bears eventually settle on Daniels or Maye as their top choice — here’s where we note that Maye is the top-rated QB on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department’s big board — they could try squeezing valuable draft capital from Washington to move back a spot.”

Bears Must Engage in Subterfuge to Persuade Commanders to Trade for Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams, USC

GettyQuarterback Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans.

Moton added that the key for the Bears is to sell Washington on the fact that they will absolutely draft Williams first if they don’t move off the top pick. That may be a hard sell if Chicago is willing to discuss a deal at all.

As such, the Bears probably need to come with a bigger ask than just the Commanders’ 2024 second-round pick to trade back a spot. Whether Chicago is willing to accept the 36th selection as enough of a return isn’t actually as relevant as the perception in Washington’s front office.

“If all of that plays out, though, the Commanders would have to at least consider Chicago’s offer. However you want to rank the 2024 quarterbacks, Williams is an elite prospect. He was also born in D.C. and played his high school ball in the area,” Moton wrote. “Flipping a second-round pick for a player who might fall to Washington anyway would be a gamble, but securing Williams would be the perfect way to jumpstart the new Commanders era.”

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