The NFL Draft is still 83 days away and with the Chicago Bears holding the number one pick and Caleb Williams being the presumptive top pick in the draft, there is going to be daily drama surrounding what the Bears decide to do at quarterback. Thursday was no different, thanks to Colin Cowherd.
Cowherd has some ties to USC so when he stated on his show that he heard that Caleb Williams doesn’t want to play for the Bears, panic ensued.
This was the comment that sent Bears fans (and media) into a panic. If you believe what Colin says here, and you believe the Bears should draft Caleb Williams, then of course you’ll be concerned with these comments.
But Cowherd is a talk show host, not a reporter. Those two things are very different. Cowherd’s job is to say things that elicit a response. Was this an opinion or was this reporting? Let’s take a look at what NFL Network reporter and insider Ian Rapoport had in his tweet when Caleb first declared for the NFL Draft.
Sources: #USC star QB Caleb Williams, a potential No. 1 overall selection, is declaring for entry into the NFL Draft. No surprise for one of the most talented prospects.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2024
The Heisman trophy winner enters the process excited for whoever ends up selecting him. pic.twitter.com/cKnBzXAFRH
What’s interesting about this tweet is the last sentence in it: “The Heisman Trophy winner enters the process excited for whoever ends up selecting him.”
At the time, there was plenty of speculation that Williams had a small list of teams that he would play for, there was also speculation that he would demand ownership in the team (which isn’t even allowed by the current CBA) and plenty of other rumors.
That note from Rapoport was, in my opinion, clearly from the Williams’ camp trying to subtly defuse all the rampant speculation about Williams’ future in the NFL.
That was a wild Thursday, but it spilled into today.
Colin Cowherd had his show and had an opportunity to double down on his statement, but instead, he significantly backtracked.
“I got a call from the Caleb Williams camp, and they went, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Colin, we don’t want to painted as anti-Chicago.’” pic.twitter.com/4M1gHOvuHq— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 2, 2024
That certainly has a wildly different vibe than the first Cowherd clip. Also notice during that clip, that Caleb Williams’ camp basically told Colin they want the Bears to take a receiver at 9. “They said they have a second pick and there’s a bunch of good receivers.”
Not only did Williams’ camp tell Colin he was wrong, they also told Colin what they’d like the Bears to do with the other selection. That sounds like a player that expects to be in Chicago and is looking at the big picture.
Finally, our own Aaron Leming received a reply from Ian Rapoport today on Twitter saying just how wrong that comment from Cowherd was.
Why would he be anti-Chicago if the #Bears end up going QB at 1? Great city, classic organization, played great at the end of the year, seems to be building a really solid foundation.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 2, 2024
In the end, this looks like just another 24 hours that was much-to-do-about-nothing.
I think PFF’s Brad Spielberger summed it up nicely.
Evergreen Caleb Williams tracker pic.twitter.com/quHdWl4Krz— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) February 2, 2024
Stay tuned for the next story that gets wildly blown out of proportion as we slowly march to NFL free agency and the draft. It can’t come soon enough.