Play-by-play of Bears trade confusion
April, 29, 2011 Apr 29
By Kevin Seifert
As you know, Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has taken responsibility for botching a proposed trade Thursday night with the Baltimore Ravens. Angelo admitted the Bears didn't hold up their end of the deal and report it to the NFL in time.
Apparently to illustrate that point, the Ravens have taken the extraordinary step of publishing a detailed account of the event on the blog of their longtime senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne. Here are some excerpts from the perspective of Ravens general manger Ozzie Newsome's conversation with NFL official Joel Bussert.
With just over four minutes remaining, the Bears called and made an offer. Oz told them "not good enough, we're ready to pick." Chicago called back within a minute and agreed to Ozzie's suggestion. Almost instantly, Oz had Bussert on the line. "Joel, we just made a trade with the Bears. They're calling you now," Newsome said. I'll be interested to see if the Bears respond this weekend or if they try to move past this episode. With about an hour before the second round begins, there have been no indications that the Bears will lose the fourth-round pick they originally were offering the Ravens.
A minute later -- now around the two- minute mark -- Ozzie said: "Joel, I've got them on the other phone. They've agreed."
To the Bears: "Joel said you guys haven't confirmed the trade."
"Joel, they said they called. I don't know [who they called]."
To the Bears: "Joel says you guys haven't called. What's going on?"
"Joel, are you sure your phones are good. They said they called. Let's go."
Someone in the draft room called out: "Oz, Kansas City is ready to pick."
"They won't take Smith," Joe Hortiz, our director of college scouting, said loudly.
[Personnel assistant Chad] Alexander alerted the room: "Kansas City is walking the pick to the table."
Newsome, who was still trying to get the offered draft pick from Chicago, said to the Bears: "What's going on? Joel said you haven't called and there's no problem with the phones. ... We're done. Chad, turn in the card."
My immediate reaction was to get to Oz and tell him that some media were going to be saying the Ravens messed up by letting the clock expire.
"Oz, the Bears messed up. We shouldn't take the hit for this," I told the Wizard.
"I'm not going to throw the Bears under the bus," Newsome said.
"Well, how about at least explaining that we had a deal with another team and that they did not follow through with a confirmation at the last second?"
Newsome: "Okay, I'll do that. But, Kevin, we got the kid we wanted and he can really play."
In the end, the Bears soon admitted at a press conference that they "had dropped the ball on a trade with Baltimore."
Nice of them, I guess. But, we'd rather have the draft pick. While it worked out, it could have been a bad situation for us, the NFL and the Bears.