Mar 4, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka tosses a ball to Marvin Harrison Jr. at the start of spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Bears host Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.

Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. visited the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall on Monday, representing one of the franchise’s “top 30” visits permitted by the NFL prior to the April 25 draft.

Harrison is projected as a top-10 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. The debate of the No. 1 receiver in the class centers on LSU’s Malik Nabers, who has also visited the Bears, and Harrison, the progeny of Pro Football Hall of Famer and longtime Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

The younger Harrison shredded the Big Ten for 155 receptions, 2,613 yards and 31 touchdowns in three seasons. He set the Buckeyes’ career record with 15 100-yard receiving games.

He was a back-to-back All-American in 2022 and 2023 and a Heisman Trophy finalist last year, but Harrison has been mostly idle on the pre-draft circuit. He didn’t run at the Scouting Combine or his pro day but most teams reserve the right to request a complete workout when prospects visit the team facility.

The Bears hold the first and ninth picks in the first round with most of the doubt around the No. 1 pick erased as Chicago continues to signal USC quarterback Caleb Williams is the selection, barring a significant trade offer.

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph talks to Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams (QB14) during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Likely No. 1 pick Caleb Williams visited Bears on Wednesday

Courtship of quarterback Caleb Williams by the Chicago Bears advanced to the next step on Wednesday with the USC product visiting Halas Hall three weeks before the 2024 NFL Draft.

Williams widely is expected to be the No. 1 pick by the Bears, who traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers last month.

This is at least the third meeting between team officials and Williams, who underwent medical testing he had resisted at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, according to multiple reports.

Prior to Williams’ pro day at USC, the Bears spent parts of three days with Williams in a contingent that included general manager Ryan Poles, head coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, among others.

Williams is expected to visit the Washington Commanders, his hometown team, before the draft and met with head coach Dan Quinn around his pro day.

Williams shared part of his visit with Alabama outside linebacker Dallas Turner. Turner is an option for the Bears in the first-round, too. Chicago holds the No. 1 and No. 9 overall picks.

Poles said last week the Bears would welcome Williams to the Chicagoland area and introduce him to the surroundings that could be his next home during the team visit.

The GM is also hands-on with prospects and took a trip to personally test the stamina and competitive endurance of Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright before selecting him in the first round last year.

Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 2022 and passed for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions for the Trojans in 2023.

In three seasons at Oklahoma (2021) and USC combine, Williams put up prolific passing numbers: 10,082 yards, 93 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with 27 rushing TDs.

–Field Level Media

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

Bears, Texans to meet in Hall of Fame game

The Chicago Bears and Houston Texans will meet in the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

The Hall of Fame announced the participants on Tuesday, and the teams were natural selections. Three former members of the Bears — Devin Hester, Steve McMichael and Julius Peppers — and Andre Johnson from the Texans are among the members of the organization’s 2024 class.

The game is set for Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio, with the Hall of Fame enshrinement following Aug. 3.

Dwight Freeney, Randy Gradishar and Patrick Willis also will be inducted during ceremonies.

Johnson will be the first player who played the majority of his career with the Texans to have a bust in Canton. With the three additions, 32 former Bears will be in the Hall of Fame.

–Field Level Media

Mar 2, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams (QB14) during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Williams greeted by Bears WR Keenan Allen at pro day

Quarterback Caleb Williams had a lot of eyes on him during Southern California’s pro day on Wednesday in Los Angeles, including those of new Chicago Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen.

Allen’s attendance is noteworthy considering Williams is the presumptive favorite to be selected by the Bears with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft next month.

The two shared a quick embrace on the sideline Wednesday. If the Bears select Williams with the top overall pick on April 25 in Detroit, well, they’ll be spending even more time together.

“Hell of an athlete,” Allen said of Williams earlier this week. “Obviously, he can make tremendous plays with his feet, with his arm. Looks like he knows the game really well. Really good.”

Williams was quick to return the compliment on Wednesday.

“I’ve known Keenan for a little bit now, hung out,” Williams said, per NBC Sports Chicago. “He was at the Chargers. Now he’s at the Bears, he’s here for a fourth-round pick, which is crazy. He’s a beast, a good guy, and he can give you a lot of knowledge.”

Speaking of conversations, Bears general manager Ryan Poles was spotted talking with Caleb’s father, Carl, at the pro day, per the Chicago Tribune. Assistant general manager Ian Cunningham, head coach Matt Eberflus, offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph also were in attendance on behalf of the Bears.

The Bears are in need of a starting quarterback after trading 2021 first-round selection Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a conditional sixth-round draft pick. That pick could become a fourth-rounder if Fields plays at least 50 percent of the snaps for Pittsburgh.

Williams, 22, passed for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions in 12 games last season. Those statistics are one year removed from his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 2022, when he threw for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns and five picks. He also rushed for 21 scores in his two seasons with the Trojans after transferring from Oklahoma.

Allen, who turns 32 on April 27, was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl in 2023 when he had a career-high 108 receptions for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws a pass during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers QB Justin Fields ‘ready for this next chapter’

Justin Fields said goodbye to Chicago following his trade from the Bears to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday.

“Can’t say thank you enough to the city of Chicago for taking me in and embracing me,” Fields posted on social media. “Thank you to the entire Bears organization and ownership for allowing me the opportunity to be part of such a historic franchise. But most of all thank you to my all my brothers that I played with. You all were the reason I attacked each day the way I did. I can’t thank you all enough for what y’all have meant to me over the last 3 years through the ups and downs. I wish each one of you nothing but success. Ready for this next chapter!”

The next chapter apparently will be as the backup to veteran quarterback Russell Wilson. The Steelers have seen an overhaul of their quarterback room, with Wilson signing a one-year deal, former starter Kenny Pickett being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, Mitchell Trubisky returning to the Buffalo Bills, longtime backup Mason Rudolph signing as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans and the acquisition of Fields for a conditional sixth-round draft pick.

That pick could become a fourth-rounder if Fields plays at least 50 percent of the snaps for Pittsburgh.

Reports Sunday indicated Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reached out to both Wilson and Fields as the deal was closed on Saturday to let them know Wilson currently stands as the starter and Fields as QB2.

For his part, Wilson welcomed Fields on social media.

“Let’s get it @justnfields! QB room bout to be (three fire emojis),” he wrote.

Only 25, Fields threw for 2,562 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 starts in 2023.

He completed 61.4 percent of his throws and rushed for 657 yards and four touchdowns. Fields suffered a right thumb injury and missed four games last season for the 7-10 Bears.

The Bears selected him No. 11 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The deal opens the door for Chicago to draft a quarterback, widely expected to be Southern California’s Caleb Williams, with the No. 1 overall selection.

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, January 7, 2024, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won the game, 17-9, to clinch an NFC playoff berth.
Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Reports: Bears sending QB Justin Fields to Steelers

Quarterback Justin Fields is heading from the Chicago Bears to the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to multiple reports.

The Bears acquire a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick that, should Fields exceed 50 percent snaps this coming season, would become a fourth-round selection according to ESPN.

Still only 25, Fields threw for 2,562 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 starts in 2023.

He completed 61.4 percent of his throws and rushed for 657 yards and four touchdowns.

Pittsburgh signed veteran quarterback Russell Wilson and traded Kenny Pickett to Philadelphia this week. Pickett started 24 games in his two years with the Steelers.

An ESPN source said Fields is unlikely to be the starter in Pittsburgh, at least to begin the season.

The deal opens the door for Chicago to draft a quarterback, widely expected to be Southern California’s Caleb Williams, with the No. 1 overall selection.

“No one wants to live in gray, I know that’s uncomfortable,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles said Feb. 27. “I wouldn’t want to be in that situation either. So, we will gather the information, we will move as quickly as possible, we are not going to be in a rush and see what presents itself and what’s best for the organization.”

Fields suffered a right thumb injury and missed four games last season for the 7-10 Bears.

– Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) runs the ball for a touchdown after a catch against the Detroit Lions during the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Bears acquire WR Keenan Allen from Chargers

The Chicago Bears acquired Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday in exchange for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick.

Allen, 31, was selected to his sixth Pro Bowl in 2023 when he had a career-high 108 receptions for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games. However, he is entering the last season of a four-year contract and was scheduled to receive a $5 million roster bonus on Sunday.

The move continues the Bears’ offensive revamp this offseason. Chicago recently added former Chargers tight end Gerald Everett, who agreed to a two-year deal, and running back D’Andre Swift, who signed a three-year contract.

Allen, who was drafted 76th overall by the Chargers in 2013, provides a significant threat to the Bears’ passing game. He has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards six times in his career and 100 receptions five times.

“What Keenan Allen has meant to the Chargers for more than a decade cannot adequately be expressed through mere words,” Chargers president of football operations John Spanos said in a statement. “Keenan’s impact lives in the hearts of our fans, in the communities which he has served and amongst the countless teammates who have formed a brotherhood with him.

“There will only be one Keenan Allen, and we cannot thank him enough for the contributions he has made to our organization both on and off the field.”

Allen has played in 139 games in his career and has 904 receptions for 10,530 yards and 59 touchdowns in 11 seasons.

–Field Level Media

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Brett Rypien (11) slides for a first down before being downed by Green Bay Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) during the second quarter of their game at Lambeau Field Sunday, November 5, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Bears sign backup QB Brett Rypien to one-year deal.

The Chicago Bears are expected to find their new starting quick at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft.

On Wednesday, they went the backup route and signed Brett Rypien to a one-year deal.

Chicago is believed to be eyeing Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick in April’s draft. The Bears are also expected to trade Justin Fields, who started 38 games over the past three years.

Rypien, 27, will likely compete with Tyson Bagent for the No. 2 job.

Rypien has made four NFL starts since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2019 with the Denver Broncos. He has passed for 950 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions in 10 games.

Last season, Rypien started for the Rams in a 20-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. He was 13 of 28 for 130 yards and one interception and was released two days later.

He had brief stints with the Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets later in the season.

Rypien played college football at Boise State and holds the Mountain West career passing yardage record of 13,578. He is the nephew of Mark Rypien, who played 11 NFL seasons (1988-97, 2001) for five teams and was MVP of Super Bowl XXVI for Washington.

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs for a first down during the first quarter of their game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, January 7, 2024 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Report: No trade market has emerged for Bears QB Justin Fields

A trade market for Bears quarterback Justin Fields has yet to develop, ESPN reported on Tuesday, citing sources that most teams view the 2021 first-round pick as a backup.

Fields was widely expected to be in play for the Atlanta Falcons or Pittsburgh Steelers. Atlanta agreed to a reported $180 million contract with 35-year-old Kirk Cousins and the Steelers signed Russell Wilson at a discount rate with Denver paying most of the $39 million salary he’s guaranteed for 2024.

The modest market creates a conundrum in Chicago, where general manager Ryan Poles holds a pair of top-10 draft picks and the Bears are thought to be planning on using one of those selections on Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams.

The Bears hold the No. 1 pick in the draft because they opted to pass on Bryce Young of Alabama and No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud of Ohio State in 2023, instead dealing the rights to the top spot to the Panthers. Carolina traded wide receiver DJ Moore and their first-round picks in 2023 and 2024 to the Bears and selected Young.

Many of the teams still in the market for a quarterback are focused on a popular set of prospects in the 2024 draft with Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye of North Carolina and J.J. McCarthy of Michigan being discussed as probable top-15 picks. Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. are also on the radar as potential first- or second-round picks.

Fields, 25, still could find a new home this offseason. The Las Vegas Raiders agreed to a two-year deal with Gardner Minshew but are paying a backup rate to a potential placeholder starter and the New England Patriots, currently holding the No. 3 pick in the 2024 draft, might give Fields a shot if it becomes evident their preferred quarterback won’t be available at the top of the draft.

Value for first-round draft picks at quarterback nosediving is a familiar backdrop for general managers attempting to offload those players. The Patriots agreed to accept a sixth-round pick in exchange for Mac Jones, who was selected 15th in 2021, four spots after Fields went to the Bears.

The No. 3 pick in that draft, Trey Lance, was traded to the Dallas Cowboys from the San Francisco 49ers for a fourth-round pick.

The 2021 No. 2 pick, Zach Wilson, has drawn no interest after being given permission to seek a trade by the Jets last month.

–Field Level Media

Reports: Bears, RB D’Andre Swift agree to $24M deal

Running back D’Andre Swift agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract with the Chicago Bears on Monday, according to reports.

Just minutes into the negotiating period in free agency, Swift was linked to the Bears as the first strike at a position not expected to be a high priority for most teams because of the depth of the undervalued group.

The Bears used a rotation at running back last season with injuries limiting Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson.

Swift led the Eagles in rushing with a career-high 1,049 yards, which ranked fifth in the NFL, on 229 carries with five touchdowns in 2023. He caught 39 passes for 214 yards and one TD in his first pro season outside of Detroit.

The Lions drafted Swift in the second round, 35th overall, in 2020, and he rushed for 18 touchdowns in three seasons, but never had more than 151 carries in a season.

Swift, who turned 25 in January, has 195 career receptions for 1,412 yards and 593 carries for 2,729 yards.

–Field Level Media