Bears GM Fires Back at RGIII’s Caleb Williams Comments: ‘It Pisses Me Off’

Ryan Poles Robert Griffin III RGIII Chicago Bears News Caleb Williams

Getty Bears general manager Ryan Poles.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has heard Robert Griffin III’s video plea for quarterback Caleb Williams to refuse to play for the Bears if they select him with the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s draft. And it bothers him.

Pat McAfee asked Poles about Griffin’s comments during his March 26 appearance on McAfee’s show and he nodded intently when asked if word of the former No. 1 pick’s comments had reached him. He also spoke candidly about what it “pisses” him off.

“It pisses me off a little bit to be honest with you because we were hired to break a cycle,” Poles said. “The same thing when I was in Kansas City, Coach [Andy] Reid, all of us were brought there to break a cycle — and we did. And no one 6talks about those days anymore, it’s all about what they are right now. So, I really believe we’re about to break this cycle and get this city in a really good situation and win a lot of games. So the past is the past; I don’t worry about that. It’s about where we’re going.”

The Bears hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft and appear likely to use it to bring in USC’s Williams as their new franchise quarterback. They sent a large presence out to Los Angeles to see Williams throw at his March 20 pro day and, according to Poles, will host him at Halas Hall for his top-30 visit during the first week of April.

But while all signs point toward the Bears drafting Williams, some — such as Griffin — have encouraged the top quarterback prospect to consider forcing his way elsewhere.

Robert Griffin III Urged Caleb Williams to Refuse Bears

A few days after the Bears traded quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Griffin posted a video to his X account where he ripped the Bears for failing their previous quarterback and encouraged Williams to “pull an Eli Manning” in the draft.

Manning famously demanded the then-San Diego Chargers pass on him in the 2004 NFL draft, but the team refused and took him with the top pick anyway. Eventually, though, Manning used his “pull” to force the Chargers to trade him to the New York Giants, with whom he won multiple Super Bowl titles over his 16-season career.

“After everything that’s happened with just Justin Fields, can Caleb Williams really look at that and say, ‘You know what? This is the organization that has my best interest at heart, and they’re gonna help develop me into the player that I want to become,'” Griffin said.

Of course, Griffin does not assign any blame to Fields for his failings in Chicago. There is no question the Bears could have done more to surround Fields with better talent over his first three seasons, but the 2021 first-round pick also did not show enough growth as a passer during his two seasons with Poles’ front office — a front office that did not trade up to draft him in the first place.

Griffin also conveniently overlooks exactly what Poles is talking about: that he and his front office have been steadily rebuilding the Bears roster from the ground up with high hopes that their current state — in Year 3 of the rebuild — has them ready to contend.

Bears’ Roster Creates Excellent Situation for Rookie QB

Williams said he had one specific thing he wanted to know about the Bears when discussing the possibility of landing in Chicago at the 2024 NFL Combine.

“Do you want to win?”

The Bears have certainly indicated that is the case heading into 2024. After spending the past two offseasons meticulously rebuilding the foundations of their roster, the Bears started making bigger, bolder moves to improve their offense this offseason.

Chicago kicked off free agency with the signing of veteran running back D’Andre Swift, adding a 1,000-yard back with pass-catching ability to a backfield that already includes Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson. They also signed tight end Gerald Everett, a solid goal-line target and a substantial upgrade in the No. 2 spot behind starter Cole Kmet.

The biggest swing, however, came just before the Fields trade. The Bears shipped a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Chargers in exchange for six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen. Chicago now arguably has a top-five receiving duo between Allen and DJ Moore, which is about as perfect a gift as an incoming rookie quarterback could ask for.

Perhaps Griffin simply isn’t familiar with Poles’ game.

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