Jerry Angelo takes blame for failed trade
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have declined to compensate the Baltimore Ravens for the botched first-round trade the two teams agreed to but that the Bears did not turn into the NFL, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged the Bears to surrender some type of draft compensation but when he declined to order them to do so, Chicago opted not to give the Ravens anything.
"The only thing I'm gonna say [is] they have rules when you do something wrong, not when you make mistakes," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Friday. "A mistake was made, no rule was broken."
That assertion did not work for Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, who told the Baltimore Sun that the Bears' refusal reflected poorly on the McCaskey family, which owns the team.
"I'm disappointed in the Bears and the McCaskeys," Bisciotti said, according to the Sun. "It is my opinion a deviation from their great legacy. They concluded that their heartfelt and admirable apology was sufficient for our loss. Al of us at the Ravens strongly disagree. Probably end of story."
Moments before the Bears selected Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi at No. 29 overall on Thursday, Angelo tried to move up and take Carimi three picks earlier. He worked out a deal to send the No. 29 selection and a fourth-round pick to the Ravens, who held the No. 26 pick.
The Ravens called in the trade and Angelo told two staffers to make the call for the Bears. But each staffer thought the other did it, and the call was never made, according to a source familiar with the situation.
"We had a disconnect and there might be something said about it because of not communicating with the league and proper protocol; that was my fault," Angelo told reporters on Thursday. "I called Baltimore and apologized to Baltimore and told them it was our fault. They did everything according to the rules, and we thought we were following everything, and we just ran out of time. It was a glitch on our part and that glitch obviously was under my reign."
Baltimore then jumped back in the draft and took Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith at No. 27.
According to an explanation of events on the team's website by Kevin Byrne, who is the Ravens' senior vice president of public and community relations, Byrne told Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome that the Ravens would take a hit in the media because they let the clock expire. Byrne didn't feel that was fair.
"I'm not going to throw the Bears under the bus," Newsome responded, according to Byrne.
Newsome said he called the NFL with 2½ minutes left on the clock to consummate the trade, and never got confirmation from the league.
"There was an agreement made between the [Bears] team and I," Newsome told the Ravens' website. "I got on the phone with the NFL but the [Bears] never got confirmation from the league. At that point I was asked by the league to make the pick."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was frustrated, too.
"We had a trade, I mean with about two and a half minutes left we had a deal," Harbaugh said Saturday. "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.
"Ozzie all through the process just kept his poise, I was so impressed, he was brilliant through the whole thing. I think we had an understanding that we would still get Jimmy [Smith] even when we were off the clock. We didn't overreact to the fact we were off the clock.
"We were very disappointed. 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."
Angelo quickly accepted responsibility.
"Whatever you hear, Baltimore did everything the right way," Angelo said. "There were a lot of things happening in the draft room. We were getting a lot of calls, we just ... dropped the ball. I dropped the ball. I can't say anything more than that."
ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson and Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.
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