Saturday, April 30, 2011
Report: Apology not enough for Ravens
By Michael C. Wright
The NFL's version of resolution regarding the trade fiasco between the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday apparently doesn't sit well with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.
Bisciotti said the profuse apologies offered by Bears general manager Jerry Angelo weren't enough, and expressed disappointment in the McCaskey family, saying the situation tarnishes the family's legacy, according to the Baltimore Sun.
"I'm disappointed in the Bears and the McCaskeys," Bisciotti told the newspaper. "It is 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. Probably end of story."
The Bears and Ravens agreed to a trade Thursday night that involved the teams swapping first-round picks, with the Bears giving up a fourth-round pick to move up from the 29th slot to the 26th. With approximately 2½ minutes remaining for the teams to consummate the trade officially with the league, the Ravens had followed the proper protocol and the Bears had not.
"We had a trade, I mean with about two and a half minutes left we had a deal," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "For two and a half minutes Ozzie was on the phone and the Bears were telling Ozzie they had called the deal in. I mean, we all know you have to call the deal in for it to be official. But the Bears had insisted for over two minutes they had called it in. Then all of a sudden we're not on the clock anymore.
League rules stipulate both teams have to confirm a trade with the league to make the deal official.
"We were very disappointed," Harbaugh said. "We're still disappointed. It didn't go the way it should have gone. I mean, you have a deal, you say you called the deal in, I don't understand how that doesn't get done."
The Bears' failure to inform the league of the trade played a role in the clock expiring and the Ravens passing the 26th pick. Baltimore went on to draft Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, while the Bears -- who offered the trade to move up because of fear of losing him to another team -- selected Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi.
Sources familiar with the situation said Angelo delegated the responsibility of calling in the trade to a pair of team staffers, who didn't take care of the matter because each thought the other one had done it.
Angelo apologized profusely to the Ravens for the miscue, but never offered to compensate the team for the fourth-round pick the teams agreed to in the failed trade. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged the Bears on Friday to extend the Ravens draft-pick compensation.
The Bears refused. In the league's eyes, the matter is now resolved.
"No rule was broken, OK," Angelo said on Friday, clearly still agitated about the controversy. "They have rules [for] when you do something wrong, not when people make mistakes."
Asked whether he was concerned about the incident tarnishing his reputation in league circles, Angelo said, "No, there isn't anybody in this room that hasn't made a mistake. I'm going into my 31st year in this league. There has been a hell of a lot worse that has [been] done to me on the clock, and there have been things out there documented. So let's not get into judging souls here. If there is something that needs to be done, I trust the league will do their due diligence."
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report