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Bears would need historic compensation to trade No. 1 overall pick in 2024 NFL Draft

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If someone is going to pry the No. 1 overall selection away from the Bears, they are going to have to pay -- and pay a lot.

Chicago would need a historic haul of draft picks and overall compensation to move off the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, sources say. In the words of one source, it would have to be "crazy."

That indicates the Bears, who received the pick in a mammoth trade last offseason with the Panthers, are more likely than not to make the pick and land their new franchise QB.

USC star Caleb Williams is currently No. 1 on Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 list on, and many evaluators around the NFL agree. Those who have scouted him view him as a special player, and his scouting picture is becoming clearer the more time teams spend on him.

If Chicago does decide to take the former Heisman Trophy winner in Williams, they would almost certainly trade Justin Fields to the highest bidder in what should be an active and fertile market. Fields, who hit his stride in the second half of this season and should command considerable interest, received plenty of support this week from teammates (DJ Moore is one example) with hopes of him sticking in Chicago.

Yet for the Bears, the rare opportunity to pick No. 1 might trump how impressed they have been with Fields. Chicago loved Fields' improvement this year and views his makeup as rare, sources say. He brought his team together, he works incredibly hard and he's a leader. But if it's about winning a Super Bowl, does Williams (who will be on a rookie deal for at least three seasons) give the team a better shot? Fields, who the Bears selected No. 11 overall in 2021, would almost certainly require a contract extension at some point soon if he stayed.

General manager Ryan Poles was asked in early January for his mindset on making the choice between drafting a new QB or sticking with Fields.

"We are going to turn every stone to make sure that we are going to make a sound decision for our organization," Poles told reporters. "I did think Justin got better. I think he can lead this team. But at the same time, there is a unique situation."

Along with the No. 1 pick, the Bears also have the ninth selection this year, their own pick.

Before anything, though, the Bears first must do a full evaluation on all the QBs, not just Williams. UNC quarterback Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels are also in Jeremiah's top five.

Chicago will evaluate through the NFL Scouting Combine (held from Feb. 26 to March 4 in Indianapolis), reassess, go through Pro Days and then collect all the info -- not just the physical traits. Getting to know Williams and the other QBs as people will be paramount.

And while there have been public questions about where Williams would want to go, sources say he would welcome a selection by Chicago, or anyone who would take him.

Last year, Chicago and Carolina agreed to their blockbuster trade on March 10, following the combine. While this year could follow a similar timeline if Fields is traded, it's currently quiet now. The chatter is expected to pick up around the combine, and once that hits, trades can be made at any time (to be made official at the start of the league year, on March 13).

Either way, the Bears face an offseason that should shape the organization for years to come.

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