Ryan Poles addresses Robert Griffin III’s Caleb Williams comments during ‘Pat McAfee Show’: ‘It pisses me off’

Robert Griffin III gave his opinion last week on Caleb Williams and the Bears. The former NFL QB-turned-media personality gave one of his most controversial takes yet, stating that the USC quarterback should force his way out of Chicago ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Plenty in the football world heard his thoughts — including bears general manager Ryan Poles. 

Poles was on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, discussing the offseason and the upcoming draft. McAfee, the show’s host, brought up the comments from Griffin to the GM, and it’s safe to say Poles was not a fan of what came out of Griffin’s mouth. 

“It pisses me off a little bit, to be honest with you, because we were hired to break a cycle,” Poles said. “[It’s] 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. No one talks 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. The past is the past. I don’t worry about that at all. It’s about where we’re going.”

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Poles and the Bears own the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. After moving on from Justin Fields via a trade to the Steelers, it clears a path for Williams to be taken first off the board and become the latest starter in the Windy City. 

What did Robert Griffin III say about Caleb Williams?

On March 18, Griffin posted a video clip on X, formerly Twitter, discussing his opinion on Williams and his potential landing spot in the NFL. 

The former NFL quarterback compared the situation with Williams along with former Giants quarterback Eli Manning. In 2004, Manning famously forced his way out of San Diego when the Chargers held the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. 

“Eli Manning had power in that 2004 draft,” Griffin said. “He let the Chargers know, ‘Don’t draft me, I don’t believe in the direction your organization is heading, and I don’t want to play there.’ He refused to play for them and even threatened to sit out the entire season if they drafted him. They still drafted him, and the look on his face when he was holding up the jersey said everything.”

The Chargers traded Manning to the Giants later on draft night for a deal that included fellow 2004 first-round pick Philip Rivers and several draft assets, including a 2005 first-rounder. 

Griffin said that he believes Williams should consider doing the same thing. The former Washington signal-caller pointed to how things worked out for Manning after the forced trade. 

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“Eli ended up winning two Super Bowls with the Giants and had a great career,” Griffin said. 

Griffin also brought up Fields and how his career in Chicago ended up. The Bears moved on from the 2021 first-round pick after just three seasons. However, it is important to note that Fields was brought in and started his career under Ryan Pace and the old Chicago regime that operated the club before Poles was hired in 2022. 

“After everything that has happened with Justin Fields, can Caleb Williams really look at that and say, ‘This is an organization that has my best interest in mind, they’re going to develop me into the player that I want to become?

“…I thought Ryan Poles was having an amazing offseason up until this trade for Justin Fields. Because you trade Justin Fields so you can get some players back to help your team out this year. Because Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus, the head coach of the Chicago Bears, are in a lame-duck season. They have to win this year or they’re going to get fired.”

While Griffin bashed the organization for a number of reasons, he did say he was still impressed with the moves Chicago made by landing running back D’Andre Swift and wide receiver Keenan Allen on offense, among others.

Despite that, he thinks that Williams would have a better chance of finding success with another club.

“He does have power right now, and he should exercise it if he feels like Chicago is not where he should be,” Griffin said.

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