Bears GM addresses ex-NFL star's advice to Caleb Williams: 'It p—-s me off a little bit'


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Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles pays no attention to the naysayers. 

But he was fired up after hearing former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III’s message encouraging top draft prospect Caleb Williams to refuse playing for the organization if they draft him with the No. 1 overall pick next month.

Former NFL player and ESPN analyst Robert Griffin III looks on before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Griffin suggested in a video posted to X earlier this month that the former USC standout should “pull an Eli Manning” after seeing how the Justin Fields situation played out. 

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“After everything that’s happened with just Justin Fields, can Caleb Williams really look at that and say, ‘You know what? This is the organization that has my best interests at heart, and they’re going to help develop me into the player I want to become,’” Griffin said. 

Fields was drafted by the Bears with the No. 11 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers after just three years in Chicago. 

Poles, who took over as GM in 2022, appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday and was asked about Griffin’s comments. Aside from disagreeing with his assessment, Poles advocated for the culture shift happening within the Bears’ organization.

Ryan Poles looks on

Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles looks on prior to a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on December 31, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

ROBERT GRIFFIN III THINKS CALEB WILLIAMS SHOULD TELL BEARS HE WON’T PLAY FOR THEM: ‘PULL AN ELI MANNING’

“It p—-s me off a little bit to be honest with you because we were hired to break a cycle,” he said. 

“The same thing when I was in Kansas City — Coach [Andy] Reid, all of us were brought there to break a cycle, and we did. And no one talks about those days anymore. It’s all about what they are right now. So, I really believe we are about to break this cycle and get this city in a really good situation and win a lot of games. 

Poles continued: “The past is the past. I don’t worry about that at all. It’s about where we’re going.” 

Caleb Williams wears glasses that say "Draft Me"

Caleb Williams #QB14 of Southern California smiles while wearing “Draft Me” sunglasses during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 2, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

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Williams recently held a pro day where Poles, head coach Matt Eberflus and newly acquired wideout Keenan Allen were in attendance. 

“They’re trying to see if I’m the right fit to be first pick as QB and possibly be the face of the franchise,” Williams said of his conversations with the Bears. They’re trying to figure out if this is the guy they should invest all the time, energy, effort and money into, which is obviously important in this situation. So it was great and just building relationships.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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