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Bears GM Ryan Poles on Robert Griffin III"s draft advice for Caleb Williams: 'Pisses me off'

profilephotocropby:Suzanne Halliburton03/27/24


caleb williams robert-griffin bears

Robert Griffin III, the quarterback turned NFL analyst, is giving unsolicited advice via social media to Caleb Williams, who likely is headed to the Bears as the No. 1 pick of the draft.

Chicago cleared the way for the selection by trading quarterback Justin Fields, their No. 1 pick from three years ago, to the Pittsburgh Steelers. And the trade is what set off RGIII, who urged Williams to pull an Eli Manning and demand the Bears trade him to another team. Griffin then gave the same unsolicited advice to current Colorado Buffalos Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter. RGIII says football is in the beginning stages of the player entitlement era, so it’s time to demand.

That all rubbed Ryan Poles, the GM of the Bears, the wrong way. Poles was a guest on Tuesday’s edition of The Pat McAfee Show. In fact, Poles was pretty emphatic in his criticism.

“It pisses me off a little bit, to be honest with you, because we were hired to break a cycle,” Poles told McAfee. “The same thing when I was in Kansas City, Coach [Andy] Reid, all of us were brought there to change a cycle and we did — and no one talks about those days anymore. It’s all about what they are right now.”

Griffin hinted that Bears could cast away Williams like Fields

If you dig deeper, Griffin basically told Williams that the Bears could cast him away as easily as they did lFields. In the video, he said:

“After everything that has happened with Justin Fields, can Caleb Williams really look at that and say, ‘This is an organization that has my best interest in mind, they’re going to develop me into the player that I want to become?’” Griffin asked. “Can Caleb Williams really look at that and say, ‘you know what this organization is going to help get me where I want to go.’ I don’t think it’s saying that.”

Of course, Griffin was suggesting Williams use the same strategy Manning did before the 2004 draft. That’s when he informed the Chargers he would not play for them in San Diego selected him. But Manning wasn’t the first quarterback to use this strategy. John Elway did it back in 1983. The future Pro Football Hall of Famer told the Baltimore Colts not to draft him. The Colts did, but traded him to the Broncos day later.

Griffin did give props to Poles and the Bears for everything up to the Fields trade. He said the 36-year-old general manager had been “amazing.” He complimented them on signing D’Andre Swift and trading for Keenan Allen. Both should be key pieces to help Williams, the former Heisman winner, adapt to the Bears and the NFL.