Bill Simmons Caleb Williams Bill Simmons Podcast Screen grab: The Bill Simmons Podcast

By his own admission, Bill Simmons is more into this year’s NFL Draft than he has been in previous years thanks to his beloved New England Patriots laying claim to the No. 3 overall pick.

Yet despite becoming an amateur draftnik — at least as far as the draft’s quarterbacks are concerned — that didn’t stop the Sports Guy from floating an already disproven conspiracy regarding the draft’s presumptive No. 1 pick, Caleb Williams.

“You know why I think you haven’t decided who you’re taking yet?” Simmons asked his friend and Washington Commanders fan Joe House on the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast. “Because I think they’re waiting to see what happens with Caleb Williams and Chicago.”

“What could happen?” replied a confused House, who — like everybody — assumes that the Bears will take the USC quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick.

“Who knows?” Simmons responded. “I think it could be a ‘who knows?'”

After House correctly pointed out that the Bears have already traded Justin Fields, which signaled that they’ll be selecting Williams, Simmons went full “Conspiracy Bill.”

“What if he says to them, ‘I want to go to Washington?'” The Ringer founder said. “I know he’s in Chicago this week, they’re trying to win him over, right? So it’s like, ‘Here’s our coach, Matt Eberflus. Here’s our organization, really nothing that good has happened. Here’s our GM, we made one awesome trade with Carolina. It’s super cold here. There’s a terrible history of Bears quarterbacks.”

So based on this loose theory, Simmons has Williams spurning the country’s third-biggest media market in part because it’s cold and Jay Cutler didn’t quite work out — all so he can force his way to similarly cold Washington D.C., which has been one of the NFL’s most disastrously franchises for the past two decades. Even in real time, Simmons seemed to realize all of this was silly and pivoted to claiming he was just trying to get House’s hopes up, before giving the conspiracy another spin.

“Have you read a quote yet from Caleb Williams saying, ‘I can’t wait to play in Chicago?'” he asked. “Because I haven’t. I Googled it today and I didn’t see anything.”

The thing about Simmons’ theory is that it would be made a little less ridiculous if we didn’t already go through this earlier this year. In February, Colin Cowherd reported — and then walked back — that Williams didn’t want to play in Chicago, with the quarterback himself publicly stating on multiple occasions that he’d be “excited” to be selected by the Bears.

So either Simmons didn’t Google hard enough or he actually was trying to get House’s hopes up. Either way, the 2024 NFL Draft can’t get here soon enough.

[H/T The Big Lead, The Bill Simmons Podcast]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.