Caleb Williams’ Camp Breaks Silence on Anti-Bears Rumors

Caleb Williams Bears Rumors Justin Fields

Getty USC quarterback Caleb Williams, the presumptive No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

Caleb Williams’ camp is setting the record straight on rumors going around that the presumptive No. 1 overall pick does not want to play for the Chicago Bears.

Chatter about Williams potentially not wanting to play for the Bears has been taking place on social media since his father, Carl, told GQ in September that his son could “come back to school” at USC if he did not like his NFL draft prospects at No. 1 overall.

The rumor itself had not made its way to the mainstream media, though, until Colin Cowherd tried to peddle it on Fox Sports Radio’s The Herd on February 1.

“Caleb [Williams] and his camp do not want to go to Chicago,” Cowherd said.

It took less than a day for Williams’ camp to reach out and set him straight on his misinformation. Cowherd walked back his comments the next day.

“So I got a call from the Caleb Williams camp and they went, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Colin, we don’t want to be painted as anti-Chicago and we don’t want to be painted as anti-Bear,’” Cowherd said on February 2. “And they made it clear to me that they said, ‘Listen, we don’t want to go to a city that doesn’t care.’ Chicago cares. They’re big, loud. They’re passionate. They fire coaches all the time — and they care.

“And they did say there is a path to succeed in Chicago. It’s called the Houston Texas. Defensive coach, a couple of weapons, cap space, good pick. They mentioned they’ve got a second pick [in the first round]. There’s a bunch of good receivers out there. … They could go get another weapon, and they already have one bona fide No. 1 pick.”

NFL GMs Expecting Bears to Draft Caleb Williams at No. 1

The Bears have not made a firm decision about the future of their quarterback position. Based on what insiders are hearing, though, the majority of the league expects them to keep the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and use it to replace Justin Fields with Williams.

“Teams are starting to line up the imaginary dominoes, trying to forecast how the top of the draft will shake out. Most people I talked to in Mobile [during Senior Bowl week] expect the Chicago Bears to make the pick at No. 1, presumably for Williams,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote on February 3.

Bears insider Brad Biggs heard similar things about the Bears keeping the No. 1 pick, writing in The Chicago Tribune that “the resounding answer from five GMs I spoke with was clear: Bears GM Ryan Poles will draft a quarterback with the top pick.”

The consensus is not surprising. While Fields has another year left on his contract, he has not shown as much consistency as hoped. Poles also did not draft Fields and still gave him two seasons to prove himself. With the No. 1 pick in his hands again, he may never get a better chance to hand-select his quarterback of the future for the Bears.

What Are Bears’ Next Steps in Quarterback Process?

Fans are rightly itching to know what the Bears will do at quarterback. Realistically, though, the team is likely still a few weeks away from making a decision.

The NFL Scouting Combine is the first step for the Bears from February 29 to March 3. In Indianapolis, they will have a chance to meet with all of the quarterback prospects and feel out their personalities. If they walk away feeling strongly about Williams or one of the other quarterbacks, they could start putting things in motion with Justin Fields.

The Bears can also lay the groundwork for potential Fields trades at the Combine. They did so with Carolina and 2023’s No. 1 overall pick at last year’s scouting showcase. No doubt, Poles will take advantage of so many GMs being in one place again this year.

After the Combine, things can start picking up. The Bears could seek to trade Fields in a matter of weeks if they walk away knowing they are going to draft a new quarterback. The same could be true for the No. 1 pick, if they keep Fields instead. Last year, Poles emphasized that it was important for him to trade the No. 1 pick before the start of NFL free agency. No reason to think he would not aim for the same timeline again in 2024.

Until the Combine begins, though, the Bears will exist in a state of speculation.

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