Caleb Williams Speculation Goes Wild After Raiders OC Hire

caleb williams

Getty USC QB Caleb Williams.

The Las Vegas Raiders have their offensive coordinator after hiring Kliff Kingsbury. The former Arizona Cardinals head coach spent the last year as a senior offensive analyst for USC and is ready to leap back to the NFL.

Notably, Kingsbury coached quarterback Caleb Williams, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears hold the first pick and appear to be torn between taking Williams and trading down for a haul of draft picks.

Kingsbury and Williams have a relationship due to his year at USC and this has led to speculation that the quarterback may prefer to go to Las Vegas than to Chicago. While that’s not necessarily his decision, many fans and analysts believe that the Raiders could be eyeing a trade for the No. 1 pick, including The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen.

If it becomes apparent that the Bears are willing to trade the No. 1 pick, there’s going to be a serious bidding war. Williams is considered one of the best quarterback prospects in years and there are a lot of teams that need quarterbacks. It would certainly help the Raiders if Williams took a stand and said he would refuse to play for the Bears.

Insider Says Caleb Williams Doesn’t Want to Play in Chicago

The idea of Caleb Williams refusing to play for the Bears isn’t totally unrealistic, according to Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd.

“I do think it’s possible that Washington trades up and Chicago allows Washington to trade up,” Cowherd said on the February 1 episode of “The Herd.” “Because Caleb and his group do not want to go to Chicago. He’s from the D.C. area. I think Dan Quinn is considered. The big concern for Caleb Williams, and you have to admit this, where you land matters. Chicago has never developed a star quarterback.”

Now, in this scenario, it sounds like Williams would be more likely to go play for his hometown Washington Commanders but that wouldn’t be a guarantee. Cowherd was the first to report that Kliff Kingsbury was the favorite for the Raiders’ offensive coordinator job so he clearly has sources with USC.

Notably, when Kingsbury was interviewing with the Bears, Cowherd reported that Williams was a fan of the coach.

”[The Bears] are sending a message to Caleb Williams. Who you like, we’ll hire,” Cowherd said on the January 18 episode of “The Herd. “If it’s a bidding war, the Bears will outbid everybody to get Kingsbury … there’s a lot of stuff working behind the scenes here.”

The Raiders are the team that ended up with Kingsbury and now they have the best insight on the quarterback.

Caleb Williams Previously Said He’d Play for Las Vegas Raiders

Unlike the Bears, Caleb Williams has expressed interest in the Raiders in the past.

“I like to be around younger coaches,” Williams said in a February 2023 interview with People’s Lanae Brody. “I’d probably go to the Dolphins. I also would be able to play with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki. The defense isn’t bad. That’s probably my No. 1 spot.”

“San Fran, Raiders or Falcons. I’d play anywhere,” Williams added.

Now, out of the teams he listed, the Atlanta Falcons are another team with a big quarterback need that could get in the mix. They also have a young and exciting head coach in Raheem Morris. That said, the Kliff Kingsbury connection should help. There hasn’t been a rookie quarterback of Williams’ stature in the modern NFL to force his way to a specific team but he’s also a unique prospect. As the draft gets closer, it’ll be interesting to see what Williams does.

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