Caleb Williams' priorities begin to change following productive and impressive minicamp with the Chicago Bears

Over the course of three days this week, Caleb Williams got a crash course in what it's like to stare opposite an NFL defense.

He made mistakes, threw interceptions and struggled with a snap count cadence.

He also wowed the crowd with pinpoint throws through defenders and made plenty 

"Obviously, I have my own goals set for myself, and that's to be perfect," Williams said. "Obviously, you strive for something like that, and you don't ever reach it, but you keep striving for it."

Now, after mandatory minicamp, Williams' priorities are shifting. They'll move on from the basics and first impressions to bigger things, such as getting his cadence down and, moving off the field, getting a contract signed.

At some point, Williams and the Bears need to come to an agreement on a contract. The first-overall pick does not have an agent, but he won't be negotiating that deal.

"I'm not handling that," Williams said Thursday. "I've been focused on these past three days of minicamp, the OTAs before that and rookie camp before that."

As the No. 1 overall pick, Williams will get a chunk of change. A good baseline to what Williams could make is the contract last year's No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young signed. He inked a four-year, fully guaranteed contract worth $37,955,074 with the Panthers on July 22, 2023.

Williams won't be the one handle that, either. He said Thursday he has a team that's specifically handling that part of his offseason.

"I haven't been focused on that," Williams said. "My team has been focused on that. I have lawyers and attorneys to handle things like that so that I can be free-minded on the field, enjoying coming in to work every day and work my tail off."

During minicamp, OTAs and the rookie camp before that, Williams put in the work. The proof is in the improvement he has made since his first action in rookie camp.

Going against the full first-team Bears defense, Williams had his hiccups. In his first practice visible to the media in OTAs, he struggled. Passes consistently hit the ground and there was frustration.

That's a reminder he can't just walk in and change the complexion of an NFL franchise overnight, much to the chagrin of Bears fans. Williams needs time to adjust.

He didn't have any exceptions to do that, even with his ultimate goal of perfection. He just wanted to set an example for the rest the team that he's going to work as hard as he can, no matter if its OTAs or an actual game.

"I didn't come in necessarily with expectation to seem like a 13-year-old vet," Williams said. "I came in to work. I work my tail off, show the guys that I'm here."

In the process, Williams wants to show he's progressing.

"I'm progressing and try not to make the same mistake again," Williams said. "That's the biggest thing day in and day out was trying not to make the same mistake over and over and learn from them. And so I think that's been my biggest thing for me and also understanding that I'm leading the organization and the team."

The Bears coaching staff agrees.

"He’s done really well," Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said. "He's progressed all the way across and hit guys. He's progressed to open spaces in his first two progressions and has dotted guys, so I think it's been really good."    

The progression puts the Bears on track to keep progressing into training camp, where the shoulder pads are on and the contact ramps up.

In the meantime, Williams will need to figure out his contract, too.

That doesn't mean Williams is losing sight of the potential.

"I feel that there's a light at the end of that tunnel," Williams said. "Right now, we're working with our head down and we're building, so just having that moment with myself. I do it every day, I sit there and say, ‘We're going to be pretty good.’ Just have to keep working, keep going."


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