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NFL insider Peter King suggests Chicago Bears could make stunning decision with No. 1 pick

Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Holding the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the widespread belief around the league has been that the Chicago Bears will draft quarterback Caleb Williams first overall and trade Justin Fields. Days short of the NFL Combine, veteran reporter Peter King hinted in his final column that things could go very differently.

King, a sportswriter for nearly 50 years, released a column on Sunday night announcing his retirement from the business. In it, one of the most respected reporters in NFL history touched on his favorite memories, the game of his career and shared the nicest NFL players he’s ever interviewed.

Related: NFL reporter reveals likely timeline for Chicago Bears to trade Justin Fields

While he was honest about his dislike for NFL mock drafts and how little is truly known about what will happen in the NFL Draft when it’s only February, the veteran NFL insider with sources around the league did share one interesting theory about what the Bears will do with the No. 1 overall pick and Fields.

King wrote that he supposes the Bears are going to trade the first overall pick. While he did state he knows “nothing”, the plugged-in reporter noted that moving down from No. 1 “seems to be the way the wind is blowing” heading into the NFL Combine.

“I suppose the Bears are going to trade the top pick. I know nothing, but that seems to be the way the wind is blowing. What I say: The Bears could keep Justin Fields (and should), and trade the first pick down once or twice, and build the kind of supporting cast a team needs to contend. Suppose GM Ryan Poles traded the top pick down one spot to Washington (which would take Caleb Williams), and got the second pick, a second-round pick and a 2025 first-round pick in return. Then suppose Poles traded the second pick to Atlanta at eight, and the Falcons picked one of the other quarterbacks. In return, Chicago gets the eighth pick, Atlanta’s second-round pick, and first- and second-round picks next year.”

Peter King on what the Chicago Bears could do with the No. 1 pick

While there has been some speculation of Chicago trading down with the Washington Commanders, acquiring the second overall pick and a 2025 first-round pick as part of the deal, following that up with another trade down would be a historic decision.

However, it would also provide the Bears with an arsenal of draft capital. Chicago would hold the eighth and ninth overall picks in 2024 along with second-round picks this year, but it would also provide general manager Ryan Poles with three first-round picks in 2025.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

It’s worth noting that this would be a massive gamble for Chicago. The early buzz on the 2025 quarterback class isn’t positive, which would put the Bears at risk of passing on a potential generational talent this year and potentially having to roll the dice on a worse quarterback class in 2025.

It would also put a lot of pressure on Fields when it’s still unknown if Chicago will exercise his fully guaranteed fifth-year option. However, if the front office and locker room are sold on him being the face of the franchise, then trading down twice would be the Bears’ best move.

While King might only be suggesting something like this could happen, the fact that it made it into his final column ahead of the NFL Combine and the note that trading the first pick “seems to be the way the wind is blowing” add a new layer of intrigue to the top of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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