Caleb Williams Remains Sneaker Free Agent Ahead of NFL Season

Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams remains a sneaker free agent ahead of his rookie season in the NFL.
Caleb Williams remains a sneaker free agent after the NFL Draft.
Caleb Williams remains a sneaker free agent after the NFL Draft. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fans who stayed up late last fall to watch Caleb Williams' final season with the USC Trojans know about his fashion prowess. Before every game, Williams entered the stadium in rare sneakers from various brands.

As the 22-year-old prepares for his rookie season with the Chicago Bears, he still has the freedom to wear whatever shoe he wants. The 2024 NFL Draft came and went without Williams signing a footwear and apparel contract with any brand.

Presumably, Williams balked at adidas, New Balance, and Nike, who all unveiled their rookie classes in late April.

That would mean Williams is still in play for Jordan Brand, who sponsors last year's top pick, Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young, among many other of the league's top stars.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott's grey and white Air Jordan cleats.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott's Air Jordan cleats. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Or Williams could take the road less traveled and team up with other companies that do not have the contractual rights to be worn on the field during NFL games (such as Under Armour).

He could also rock custom cleats on the gridiron like Odell Beckham Jr. did throughout last season with the Baltimore Ravens.

Either way, Williams remains the biggest footwear free agent in football without ever taking a snap in an NFL game. This past weekend, the sports world got its first look at Williams in a Bears uniform for the annual rookie photo shoot, and the top-draft pick laced up white and black Nike cleats.

Sports apparel companies wanting to partner with Williams will have to formalize a deal through slightly untraditional means. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner is not formally represented by a certified sports agent but rather by his father, Carl Williams.

The 2024 NFL preseason starts in just over ten weeks and all eyes will be on Williams' feet when he steps on the field for the Hall of Fame Game against the Houston Texans. Stay locked into Sports Illustrated's FanNation Kicks for all your sneaker news from the NFL and the rest of the sports world.

Further Reading: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons has signed a sneaker deal with adidas.

Pat Benson


Pat Benson covers the sneaker industry for Sports Illustrated's FanNation. Previously, he has reported on the NBA, authored "Kobe Bryant's Sneaker History (1996-2020)," and interviewed some of the biggest names in the sports world. You can email him at