By Daniel I. Dorfman–
CHICAGO (WSCR) Every so often all sides can claim to be right on an issue and there is evidence to support each claim. Then we have situations where everyone goes out of their way to look ridiculous. The latter is a good way to look at what happened with the Bears and the Baltimore Ravens and the botched trade.
As has been reported, the Bears had agreed to move the 29th pick in the draft as well as their fourth round selection to Baltimore in exchange for the Ravens first round pick at No. 26. The Bears wanted to use the pick to get Wisconsin offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, the Ravens wanted to draft cornerback Jimmy Smith. As we all know by now, the Bears failed to report their end of the trade to the NFL and therefore the deal was not made. The Ravens were angry and the Bears looked silly.
Silly may be too kind of a word. If the story is true and general manager Jerry Angelo designated two people to inform the league and each one thought the other one did it, the Bears front office looks like a combination of The Three Stooges, Keystone Cops and Frank Drebin from the Naked Gun. After being in a draft war room for years, how Angelo did not have a specific person to contact the league in case of a trade is mind boggling. But the Bears have goofed before on seemingly easy tasks such as checking a box on a free agent form in the Warrick Holdman case, or hiring a head coach (remember the Dave McGinnis fiasco in 1999 that eventually cost Michael McCaskey his job), so this latest tale is somehow not as shocking as it should be.
Through some luck, the Ravens did wind up with Smith and the Bears selected Carimi which may be why the NFL did not order compensation to the Ravens, even after Commissioner Roger Goodell stating an opposite viewpoint at first. “No harm, no foul” seems to be the mantra for an NFL that is dealing with the far greater issue of the lockout right now.
No doubt the Bears look dopey, but the Ravens are not making themselves look sympathetic. Yes, they have a right to be angry if they thought they were going to wind up with an extra draft pick, but they did get with Smith, the player they apparently desired all along. Moreover, their owner Steve Bisciotti had been publicly complaining when this is the time he should be keeping his mouth shut and having private discussions about it with NFL officials. If the Ravens wanted it known the Bears screwed up to placate their fans, fine. But then everything else should have been handled privately. To continue to go public with it, makes the Ravens look like the eight-year-old who didn’t get the birthday present they wanted.
Bisciotti only compounded his mess by bringing the McCaskey family into it, even though he had received apologetic phone calls from George and Michael McCaskey. As we all know in Chicago, the McCaskeys can make for easy targets, but there is no indication they were responsible for this exercise in goofiness. Bisciotti should place blame where it belongs, which is at the table of Angelo and his staff.
It’s easy to see that the Ravens thought they were going to get an extra pick out of this whole thing, but it is not as if they lost a chance at a top five pick either. A fourth round draft choice is hardly a guarantee of a successful player.
The Bears may not be facing consequences from the league, but other teams might be reluctant to deal with them during future drafts. But even that is hard to believe, because if a team truly believed they had a chance to make themselves better by making a deal with the Bears, chances are, that team will go ahead and call the Bears. That even includes the Ravens.
For next year, the Bears might want to buy “How to Conduct an NFL Draft” and the Ravens might want to learn when to keep quiet.
Do you agree with Daniel? Post your comments below.
Daniel I. Dorfman is a local freelance writer who has written and reported for the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Globe among many other nationally prominent broadcast, online and print media organizations. He is also a researcher for 670 The Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDorfman To read more of Daniel’s blogs click here.