Is Caleb Williams with the Bears?

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Chicago’s move to trade Justin Fields for basically whatever they could get shows they will take a quarterback with the first overall pick in 2024. But which quarterback will they take?

Presumably, it will be Caleb Williams. Presumably, Williams has decided not to opt out of playing for the Bears. Presumably, he’s willing to surrender the “honor and privilege” that comes from being told where his NFL career will begin. Even if it might not be the ideal destination for him.

Three times in the last 41 years, the first overall pick has made the power play. In 1983, John Elway managed to get the Colts to join him and trade him. In 1986, Bo Jackson told the Buccaneers that, if they selected him with the No. 1 overall pick, he would play baseball. (They did, and he did.) In 2004, Eli Manning (with Archie’s help) got the Chargers to select him and then traded him to the Giants.

More top prospects should utilize their strengths. Especially when they all arrive in the NFL with zero money in the bank. Why not provide the NFL with a list of teams a player will play for, along with the threat/promise of sitting out the season? (There is also an argument being made that a player who does not accept any financial benefits from the NFL or hire an agent can return to college football if he still has remaining eligibility.)

For a quarterback, that first NFL destination can be critical to the player’s long-term success. Dysfunctional teams produce dysfunctional work. And they remain inactive. That stench can attach to the player and affect his chances and perception.

If Williams has considered all the teams and decides the Bears are his best destination, great. If he has considered all the teams and decided he wants to play somewhere else, why shouldn’t he try to do that?

Yes, the media (but not us) will criticize him for doing so. Fans will go crazy. Despite this, players have more power than they realize. And they are the ones who have to live with the consequences of landing in a bad spot.

After being selected third overall by the 49ers in 2021, Trey Lance has become a consideration. He was appointed to a position where circumstances combined with football decisions gave him the chance to never play.

After being the consensus second overall pick in 2021, Zach Wilson has become a laughing stock. He was drafted by the Jets, who have been slinging “dis” loosely for 50 years and counting. The Jets have since admitted that, with a first-year head coach who was not an offensive specialist, they should not have immediately fielded Wilson. Without the benefit of an alternate universe, there is no way to know whether Wilson would have been successful if, for example, the Jets had taken Micah Parsons at No. 2 and the 49ers had selected Wilson.

Caleb Williams has a duty to himself and his career to look at the draft order and dive deeper into the dysfunction, or otherwise, of the teams that (for the most part) earned those selections. There are currently defensive head coaches on teams with the first four selections. Thus, if any of them (Bears, Commander, Patriots, Cardinals) take Williams and if Williams thrives there, the offensive coordinator will essentially become a “hot” head coaching candidate – and Caleb Williams will get another offensive start. Will have to coordinate.

Williams has reasons to keep an eye on the Giants at No. 6. He could thrive in that market, earning him several millions in off-field earnings. And their coach will be an offensive specialist who has shown he can get the most out of Josh Allen when Brian Daboll was the offensive coordinator in Buffalo.

Although the Bears undoubtedly won’t trade the first overall pick to Minnesota, consider what Caleb Williams could become when paired with Kevin O’Connell, who was in the process of turning Kirk Cousins ​​into a stone-cold killer — and Who later convinced Nick freakin’ Mullens to have a 400-yard passing game.

The point here is that top players have more power than they realize. Using it is not just a luxury. This is a possible requirement. For some players, that first team becomes a key factor in determining whether he succeeds or fails at the NFL level.

Perhaps Williams is good enough to overcome the potential impact of less-than-ideal circumstances. Or perhaps they should take into account what Colorado coach Deion Sanders recently told Chris Russo of SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio.

“The kid can play easily and he’ll probably be the first choice,” Sanders said. “But you got a situation in Chicago that I don’t like. I don’t think you’ll give up on their quarterback.[Justin Fields] How many coordinators are there now? How many head coaches?”

Seriously, how stable are things in Chicago? How much continuity will there be for Williams? These are all reasonable questions to ask from a player who has the power to do more than just ask questions if he wants to.

More players at the top of the draft should be willing to move back. This happened only three times in the pre-NIL era. As more players have more money in the bank, it seems inevitable that some players will reject the league’s Harry Potter-style Sorting Hat and approach the NFL about the smaller venues where they’ll play.

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