Does Caleb Williams want to play for the Bears? USC QB rejects draft rumors, will be ‘excited’ to go to Chicago

The Bears have made it clear who they intend on taking with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but does that prospect have an interest in going to the Windy City?

Chicago has been on the clock ever since Carolina secured the worst record in the NFL for 2023. The Bears own the No. 1 selection after acquiring Carolina’s pick last year, and they have first dibs on taking Caleb Williams, the USC QB regarded as the top prospect in the draft class. 

The Trojans QB is not only viewed as the top QB, but he’s also considered to be a generational talent. Chicago may not have come out and specifically said they plan to take the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, but the team’s trade of Justin Fields cleared the way for the club to select a quarterback. 

Williams hasn’t discussed his draft process much in the time leading up to Thursday’s draft night, but he did previously share his opinion on the possibility of going to the NFC North team.

Here’s what Williams said about being drafted by the Bears. 

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Does Caleb Williams want to play for the Bears?

Williams spoke to ESPN’s Pete Thamel in February about the 2024 NFL Draft, stating how excited he is to take the next step in his football career, no matter if it’s with the Bears or if it’s with another team. 

“If I get drafted by the Bears, I’ll be excited,” he said. “If they trade the pick and I get drafted by someone else, I’m just as excited. Speaking about Chicago, they have a talented team, a talented offense and defense. For anyone to be in that situation, I think they’d be excited.”

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Possibilities about Williams dictating where he ended up in the NFL arose when Williams’ father, Carl, mentioned the desire of his son to be a player-owner. The USC QB’s dad also works as his agent and business manager, and there were rumblings that Williams would use this tactic to go to the club he wanted to. 

Those rumors were put to bed soon after, but then the idea of Williams pulling an Eli Manning was brought up by former NFL QB Robert Griffin III. The current ESPN analyst said in March that he believed Williams was better suited elsewhere than Chicago and that he should demand a trade if he were to be taken by the Bears. 

Despite all of these speculations and murmurs in the media world, Williams has been clear that he is open to whatever happens on draft night. At the end of the day, it’s his dream to play in the NFL and will be “excited” for whatever opportunity comes. 

“This is what I’ve been preparing for my whole life,” Williams said of the draft. “Since I was 10 or 11, this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. At that age until now, it basically feels like your whole life.

“I’m excited. I’m ready to get back on a football team around my teammates and my brothers — my new brothers now.”

When Williams presumably hears his name called by the Bears early on Thursday night, he then joins a city rich in sports history. The QB said he has only been to Chicago once, but he has studied iconic Chicago athletes, such as Bulls legend Michael Jordan and Bears Hall of Famer Walter Payton. 

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“I’m 22. I didn’t really get to see those players,” Williams said. “As the saying goes, the legends live on. That’s my goal of playing football. It’s not money, it’s not fame … it’s to be immortal. I want to reach that sense of being a legend. Being at the table … and having a rightful seat through hard work and energy and time I’ve put into this game that we all love.

“It’s appealing to be in a city like that, with legends that you’ve looked up to … reach for the standard they set and try to do anything to get there.”

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