The Caleb Williams Hates the Bears Rumors Are Officially Dead

Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams / Harry How/GettyImages

Caleb Williams is just about assured to go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft and none of the usual over-analyzing that will take place over the next two months will change that. His final year at USC was rocky but did nothing to change the perception that he''s a generational talent worthy of the first overall pick and capable of transforming the franchise that will draft him. Which, as time goes on, is more and more likely to be the Chicago Bears.

However, when it first became clear the Bears would have the top spot come April, Williams didn't always seem destined for Chicago. That's in part due to the fact that the Bears do have a decision to make with Justin Fields and it wasn't quite set in stone a month ago when the season ended. But it was also due to some odd rumors surrounding Williams' lack of desire to go to the Bears. These rumors peaked when Colin Cowherd told his audience that the USC quarterback and his camp do not want to go to Chicago because the Bears haven't developed a franchise quarterback in decades and he's from Washington D.C., where he could end up playing professionally if the Commanders traded up from the No. 2 slot.

While it was never clear whether that was a report or just his opinion, Cowherd was forced to retract those thoughts after Williams' people reached out and told him to do so. But it doesn't stop an avalanche of think-pieces and discussion that we might have an Eli Manning-Chargers situation on our hands. But it now seems as though that discourse is officially, 100 percent dead in the water. Williams gave an interview to ESPN's Pete Thamel and said in no uncertain terms that he'd be happy to be a Chicago Bear:

Williams spent much of the interview with ESPN discussing the Bears, whom he has long been linked to given they hold the No. 1 pick.

"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."

So much for that drama. People live for it this time of year; the draft is perfectly engineered for the rumor mill to churn wildly out of control. Williams himself knows that quite well already between the Bears narrative and the random report from last summer (which he's since debunked) that he wanted a stake in ownership of whichever team drafts him. The fans love the chum of draft season and things can spiral quickly.

But not this narrative. Not anymore. Could Williams be overstating his enthusiasm about joining the Bears in order to avoid the perception that he is a problem child? Of course. But there's no chance he comes out and says this unprompted and then demands a trade if the Bears do take him first overall. So put your Manning analogies back in the bottom drawer, folks. Williams is happy to be here and nothing else.