The former Florida State quarterback will make a pre-draft visit to the Chicago Bears Wednesday and Thursday, a source familiar with Winston's travel schedule told NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport. Just 15 months after the Bears' previous general manager, Phil Emery, signed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to a massive long-term contract worth $126 million ($54 million guaranteed) through 2020, it's new GM Ryan Pace who will welcome one of the 2015 draft's top quarterback prospects.
The club's financial commitment to Cutler aside, acquiring Winston from the Bears' draft position with the No. 7 overall pick would surely require some creativity. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to take Winston with the No. 1 pick, and if they pass, it's difficult to imagine the Tennessee Titans doing the same at No. 2. With the New York Jets also in need of a quarterback and drafting one spot ahead of Chicago at No. 6, any strong interest on Pace's part in drafting Winston would have to come with a willingness to trade up for him.
More likely, it's a simple case of an NFL club doing due diligence in evaluating one of the draft's elite prospects, regardless of need. If the Bucs were interested in trading down, any team the Bucs discussed a deal with would want to know exactly what it would give up for the chance to draft Winston, USC's Leonard Williams, or any other possible No. 1 pick.
Winston has previously said he will likely stay home with family rather than attend the NFL draft, which is being held in Chicago, in person.