Latest On Bears, QB Caleb Williams

Prior to Justin Fields being dealt, the expectation around the league was that Ryan Poles would move on from the former first-rounder in a deal paving the way for Caleb Williams to be selected. With the first of those two decisions having been made, the second is even more likely.

Fields was dealt to the Steelers after teams around the league did not show the interest in him Poles was expecting. The 25-year-old preferred to go to Pittsburgh, where he is currently slated to serve as the backup to Russell Wilson. Parting ways with Fields confirms Chicago will add a passer in April’s draft, one in which the teams owns the first and ninth overall picks.

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin and Brooke Pryor confirm “all signs point” to Williams being the first to hear his name called on draft night. The 2022 Heisman winner has long been regarded as the top passer in the 2024 class (although the gap between he and the Drake MayeJayden Daniels duo has closed to an extent in the eyes of some draft analysts). Williams is open to joining the Bears as their rebuild aims to take its next step.

Chicago was originally set to host the USC product on a ’30’ visit right after the combine, but Sports Illustrated Albert Breer notes the team changed that plan. Now, the Bears will conduct the visit following Williams’ Pro Day, which took place on Wednesday. To no surprise, the Bears were among the teams well represented at that event.

Poles and Co. will conduct a final evaluation in the near future before finalizing a decision at the QB spot. Expectations for the team’s offense – a unit which now features the likes of Keenan Allen, D’Andre Swift and Gerald Everett at the skill positions – will be high in 2024, particularly if Williams is installed as the the starter during his rookie season. Other teams have done their homework on the latter as well, of course, but it remains unlikely he will be available for the Commanders or Patriots with the second and third selections.

As Adam Jahns of The Athletic notes, the Bears joined several other NFL teams in sending a “large contingent” to watch J.J. McCarthy at Michigan’s Pro Day on Friday. Chicago’s due diligence at the QB spot has thus included evaluations of a number of options, but especially with Fields no longer in the fold it would come as a major surprise at this point if Williams were playing outside the Windy City in 2024.

View Comments (39)