Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said he talked to several clubs with picks ahead of him, but he was very close to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bears were going to give the Ravens the 29th overall pick and its fourth-rounder (127th overall) to move up to the 26th slot, presumably to move ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, who were rumored to be interested in an offensive lineman.
But, the Bears didn’t finalize the deal, and the Ravens missed their selection and ended up picking 27th. The Chiefs selected Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin and the Ravens selected Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith.
“It was our fault,” Angelo said. “[The Ravens] did everything according to the rules.
“It worked out. We got our player.”
So did the Ravens, although general manager Ozzie Newsome lamented the snafu with the Bears.
“Everyone was poised,” he said at a press conference. “I was on the phone with the other team. [A Ravens official] was on the phone with Jimmy Smith. Once that agreement was made, then they have to call the league.”
Newsome informed NFL personnel executive Joel Bussert that a trade had been worked out. Only one problem.
“The other team never got confirmation with the league,” Newsome said.
Angelo confirmed the Bears were trying to move up to get Carimi.
“We dropped the ball,” he said. “I dropped the ball. What’s been done can’t be undone.”
The Bears were actively looking to trade up from No. 29 because Carimi was still available in the high 20s.
“We tried several times, and talked to other people,” Angelo said. “But it didn’t work out.”
So when Carimi was available at 29, the Bears didn’t have much of a discussion on who they were going to take.
“It was pretty easy about that time,” Angelo said. “It was a pretty obvious pick for us.”
Newsome, among the league’s most respected talent evaluators, had a trade fall through in 2003, when he was trying to consummate a deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Current Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice was the Vikings head coach at the time. The Vikings had the seventh pick, and they ended up selecting ninth.
It didn’t work out too bad for them; the Vikings landed defensive tackle Kevin Williams, a six-time Pro Bowl selection.
UPDATE: The Ravens are not letting this go, appealing to the league that the Bears owe them a draft pick, presumably the 4th rounder. If the league makes a ruling, one would expect it to happen Friday or Saturday, before that pick comes up. I don’t recall a precedent, so I’m not sure the Ravens will get their way.