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Bears Take Blame For Expired Pick

The error cost the Ravens a fourth-round pick, but they still got the player they wanted.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Friday, April 29th, 2011 at 12:50 am | Categories: 2011 NFL Draft, Ryan Mink

Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome has made numerous draft-day trades during his career.

But what happened on Thursday night was new for him.
 
Newsome believed he had a trade with the Chicago Bears to move back from No. 26 to No. 29 in the first round and reportedly pick up an extra fourth-round pick.
 
As he always does, Newsome called the NFL – with 2 ½ minutes remaining on the clock – to make the trade official. And he waited, and waited for confirmation.
 
Ultimately, the NFL spokesman on the other end of the line told Newsome he needed to make a pick. Chicago never called the league to confirm the trade and the Ravens ran out of time.
 
“Long day,” Newsome said to open up the team’s press conference minutes after making the pick.
 
“There was an agreement made between the team and I. I got on the phone with the NFL, but the other never got confirmation from the league. At that point, I was asked by the league to make the pick.”
 
The allotted 10 minutes for Baltimore to make its selection ran out, meaning any team afterwards could run to the podium to make its pick before the Ravens. It’s a rarity in the draft, last happening to the Minnesota Vikings in 2003.
 
The Kansas City Chiefs automatically leapfrogged Baltimore, and could have taken Smith off the board, but chose Pittsburgh wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin instead.
 
The Ravens had a draft card with Smith’s name on it ready to turn in at Radio City Music Hall, and quickly handed it in right after the Chiefs made their pick.
 
Chicago Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo took the blame for the mishap. He told reporters that he called Baltimore to apologize.
 
“It was our fault,” Angelo said.  “They did everything according to the rules. … We had a disconnect. Whatever you hear, Baltimore did everything right.”
 
The Bears were looking to trade with Baltimore to select Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi, Angelo said. They were fearful Kansas City was going to take him at No. 27. When the Chiefs took Baldwin, the Saints traded up with New England to snag Alabama running back Mark Ingram at No. 28 and the Bears still got their man in Carimi at No. 29.
 
In the end, the Bears’ error cost the Ravens a fourth-round pick. But Baltimore did get the player it wanted.
 
“If we would have gotten back on the clock [at No. 29] and Jimmy would have been there, yes we would have taken him,” Newsome said. “We got the player and we’re just happy to have him.”
 
In an interview with WBAL radio, Head Coach John Harbaugh said Newsome remained calm in the war room despite the mishap and confusion – even though there was a chance their player could have been taken.
 
“I think we’ve got a strong board,” Newsome said. “If we’d have lost Jimmy, then we felt there are other players on this board that would have helped our football team that we would have been able to get.”

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