The Chicago Bears appear strongly inclined to use their first-round No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft to select USC quarterback prospect Caleb Williams. However, despite widespread expectations, this outcome is not set in stone.

The Washington Commanders, positioned right behind the Bears with the No. 2 pick, have reportedly shown significant interest in Williams, a native of the Washington, D.C. area. Given their long-standing interest in him, they would likely seize the opportunity to draft him if he becomes available.

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report throws another Bears-Commanders trade request into the hat pile in the most recent mock draft trade proposal, but this one might have a twist.

In his proposed trade scenario, Kay suggests that the Bears would use their No. 1 pick to select Caleb Williams, while the Commanders would opt for North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with their No. 2 pick. Subsequently, the two teams would swap quarterbacks, with Chicago receiving additional draft picks as compensation.

In this trade scenario, the Bears would acquire Maye, along with a 2024 third-round pick (No. 67 overall) and a 2025 first-round pick, in exchange for Williams.

The rationale behind trading players rather than draft picks, as explained by NFL analyst Ben Solak of The Ringer, is to avoid sending a potentially negative message to both the quarterback and the team. Trading away a draft pick designated for a quarterback and then selecting another quarterback with the very next pick could undermine the confidence of both the player and the team, hence the preference for player swaps in this scenario.

Bears-Commanders in a Modern-Day Eli Manning-Philip Rivers Deal?


Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears

Rather than that, the teams would trade Williams and Maye, just like they did with Eli Manning and Philip Rivers in 2004.

Solak also presents another possibility: the Bears could choose Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick and then trade him to another team later in the draft. This strategy mirrors the Eli Manning–Philip Rivers trade in 2004. In that scenario, the Chargers selected Manning with the first pick despite Manning’s expressed desire not to play for them. Subsequently, San Diego traded Manning to the Giants for Philip Rivers, along with additional draft picks.

Similarly, the Bears could select Williams with the intention of trading him to another team, such as the Washington Commanders. This move could prompt Washington to offer additional draft capital, including a future first-round pick, along with other assets, to acquire Williams. Solak emphasizes that this option cannot be ruled out and illustrates the potential complexity and flexibility involved in draft-day decisions.

It’s hardly a novel concept for the Bears and Commanders to trade picks. The notion has been floated by numerous media figures.


Washington Commanders, Washington Commanders free agency, Washington Commanders receivers, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Boyd Commanders

Other Bears-Commanders Trade Ideas

Kristopher Knox from Bleacher Report suggested a potential trade scenario where Washington would trade their second overall pick and a second-round pick for Chicago’s first overall pick. Brad Gagnon, also from Bleacher Report, proposed an alternative deal wherein the Bears would trade their first overall pick for the Commanders’ second overall pick, a second-round pick in the current year’s draft, and a third-round pick in 2025. Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports presented an even more optimistic trade scenario for Bears fans, envisioning a trade where Chicago would swap their top overall pick for Washington’s second overall pick, a second-round pick, and a first-round pick in 2025.

Despite these trade speculations, it seems unlikely that the Bears will deviate from selecting Caleb Williams, whether through a trade or by keeping their draft pick. Williams is highly regarded as a once-in-a-generation talent and is already drawing comparisons to NFL legends like Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.

Nevertheless, the unpredictable nature of the NFL means that anything can happen. Fans will have to wait until the NFL draft on April 25 to see how these scenarios unfold.

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