Caleb Williams shares initial reaction to the Bears trading Justin Fields

It’s been over a month since the Chicago Bears moved on from quarterback Justin Fields and sent him to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 2025 sixth-round draft pick. The trade cleared a major hurdle in the team’s pursuit of a quarterback at No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, which is widely expected to be USC’s Caleb Williams.

The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner has been projected to be the top overall pick for quite some time, and it felt inevitable that he would wind up with the Bears once they secured the No. 1 pick by way of the Carolina Panthers. But there was still conversation and debate that took place regarding Fields and whether or not Chicago would benefit from sticking with him instead and moving down the draft to accumulate picks. Once Fields was dealt, it made the Bears’ intentions that much clearer to everyone—including Williams.

Speaking with the Pivot Podcast, Williams was asked what his first thought was when he learned Fields had been traded. “My phone explodes,” Williams said. “I ended up calling a couple people and was just like, ‘well, we know where their mind and heart is at this instance.’ Let’s prepare and get ready and handle things accordingly and still do our due diligence on the situation.”

Williams immediately realized what that move meant, though. “In that moment, it was kind of like ‘wow’ because I didn’t do my top-30 visit yet; they didn’t have my medicals and things like that. They have it all now; it was nothing. And I had a good time on my top 30, but it was interesting right in that moment because it was so unexpected in that instance.”

Up to that point, Williams had only met formally with the Bears at the NFL Combine. His pro day had yet to happen, and his top-30 visit wasn’t scheduled until April. It sounds like Williams had a good idea he was the Bears’ target but didn’t expect them to make their intentions fully known without going through the other meetings yet.

Since then, there has been plenty of communication between Williams and the Bears, and reports indicate both sides are pleased with one another. It would be the upset of the century to not see him holding up a Bears jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. After moving on from their old quarterback in March, the Bears are just days away from welcoming their new one in April.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire