Caleb Williams excited by Chicago after watching Michael Jordan, Walter Payton clips

Caleb Williams is excited by the prospect of being picked first overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2024 NFL draft, though he says he has no “agenda” regarding his destination.

Former USC quarterback Williams is widely expected to be taken first in April’s draft, meaning he has long been linked with the Bears, who received the Carolina Panthers’ pick in a trade last year.

The chances of Chicago selecting Williams seem to have increased in recent days, with general manager Ryan Poles talking of the need to “do right” by current quarterback Justin Fields, who looks likely to be traded.

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Williams – who threw for 3,633 yards and 30 touchdowns in his final year with the USC Trojans – is set to meet with Chicago management in Indianapolis this week.

While he has already done his homework on Chicago, he is ready for any situation which may arise between now and the draft taking place.

“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.

“I’m not pushing any agenda. At the end of the day, the Bears have the last say. Regardless of how I feel, I’m not pushing an agenda of, ‘Yeah, I want to go. Or no, I don’t want to go.’ I’m excited for whatever comes.”


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Fields added he had spent time watching videos of Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and former Bears running back Walter Payton, two of the city’s greatest ever athletes.

“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, to try to reach for the standard they set and do anything to get there.”

There have also been suggestions that Chicago could trade away their first pick even if they do choose to target a quarterback, and in that scenario the Washington Commanders could come into contention for Williams.

Williams was born and raised in Washington and acknowledges a homecoming would make for a good story, but he is refusing to get carried away with the different scenarios which could unfold.

“It’d be really cool because it’s so familiar,” he said. “There’s a time and place for everything.

“My job and my hobby is being at the facility or on the field or watching film. Or relaxing and prepping for the next day or game.

“My main goal and focus is to go win games and stay focused on keeping the main goal the main goal.”

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