George McCaskey, who will soon take over the chairmanship of the Bears, downplayed the botched trade with the Baltimore Ravens.
On Thursday, the Bears were talking to the Ravens about moving up from No. 29 to 26, in order to select offensive tackle Gabe Carimi. But time elapsed, and the Kansas City Chiefs jumped ahead of the Ravens.
“We spoke to the Ravens about it, and we spoke to the league about it,” McCaskey said. “We made a mistake. We apologized for it. The bottom line, as I understand it, the Ravens got the player they were wanting and we got the player we were wanting.”
Asked if he would have been willing to give up the fourth-round pick if the Ravens didn’t get the player they wanted (cornerback Jimmy Smith), McCaskey said, “One of the reasons I got out of the legal business is, I was constantly being asked to assess hypotheticals that didn’t apply to real life.
“We had a real-life situation in front of us, and we did the best we could under the circumstances. Hopefully, the Ravens understand that.”
They apparently don’t.
“I’m disappointed in the Bears,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told th Baltimore Sun. “It is in my opinion a deviation from their great legacy. They concluded that their heartfelt and admirable apology was sufficient for our loss. All of us at the Ravens strongly disagree.”
The NFL “suggested” the Bears give the Ravens a pick, but the Bears declined. They then traded that pick on Friday to move up in the second round and select defensive tackle Steve Paea.
Here’s my take: it’s awfully ironic that the Ravens are so insistent on this, since they were on the other side of this same situation in 2003. They were talking to the Minnesota Vikings about moving up to seventh overall. But, time elapsed, and the Vikings didn’t get their pick in until No. 9.
There were questions about who the Vikings actually wanted, but they ended up with Kevin Williams, a defensive tackle who has been a six-time Pro Bowl selection.
Also, it’s incumbent on the team that is on the clock, to turn in a pick or confirm a trade with the league in their allotted time.
Kevin Byrne, a senior vice president with the Ravens, broke down what happened Thursday night on the team’s website.
With about two minutes left, general manager Ozzie Newsome was talking to the Bears and the NFL.
“Someone in the draft room called out: “Oz, Kansas City is ready to pick,” Byrne wrote. “They won’t take Smith,” Joe Hortiz, our director of college scouting, said loudly.”
It would seem then, that the Ravens could have informed their employee in New York to turn in the card, which was already prepared with Smith’s name on it, to the NFL.