Shawne Merriman Says The Chicago Bears Mishandled Their QB Situation On 'Don't @ Me With Dan Dakich'

Former NFL linebacker Shawne "Lights Out" Merriman went on "Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich" to discuss his perspective on how the Chicago Bears are handling their quarterback situation.

Unless something major happens, Chicago will likely take USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NFL Draft (OutKick’s Mock Draft, written by Armando Salguero, is here). The move makes sense, given that they traded former starter Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While this sequence of moves might make sense on paper, Merriman believes that it could hamper Williams’ development.

"They got rid of Justin Fields, which, I don't believe was a good move," Merriman said. "I would have kept Justin Fields at least until trade time. Give Caleb Williams some time (to develop)."

Read: NFL Draft Week Is Here: Armando Salguero 2024 OutKick Mock Draft

Chicago isn’t completely leaving the presumptive No. 1 pick to fend for himself. They have certainly acquired a lot of skill players to make life easy for Williams as he gets used to the NFL. 

But even so, Merriman believes that the Bears should have let him learn under Fields at first instead of expecting him to figure everything out right away.

"I am so against throwing young quarterbacks in the fire. I don't know what happened with the NFL where they just don’t care about developing guys," Merriman said. "You want them to leave college and get on the field, throw them into the fire, and let them learn on the run. It just doesn’t always happen that way."

The former linebacker highlighted that some of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks didn’t start playing as soon as they were drafted. Instead, they learned from the team’s starter, and were slowly equipped to take the reins of the franchise.

"Look at the quarterbacks who are having a lot of success right now. They didn’t get on the field early on. Patrick Mahomes, he sat practically for a whole year," Merriman pointed out. "I believe in giving guys at least 4-6 games to try to figure it out. Throwing him on the field on day one and saying, ‘Make this thing happen, turn our organization around,’ in my opinion long term just isn’t smart for the organization."

So far Williams has relished the challenge of wanting to lead a team and be successful. But time will tell if he’s up to the task, or if Merriman’s warning comes true.

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John Simmons graduated from Liberty University hoping to become a sports journalist. He’s lived his dream while working for the Media Research Center and can’t wait to do more in this field with Outkick. He could bore you to death with his knowledge of professional ultimate frisbee, and his one life goal is to find Middle Earth and start a homestead in the Shire. He’s still working on how to make that happen.