Ravens coach John Harbaugh: Bears’ draft gaffe was intentional
BY NEIL HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org July 19, 2011 11:00PM
Ravens coach John Harbaugh (left, with Bears coach Lovie Smith) believes the Bears stole from his team when they failed to notify the NFL of an agreed-upon trade during the NFL draft in April. | Larry French~Getty Images
Updated: July 20, 2011 11:17AM
John Harbaugh said the botched draft-day trade with the Bears in April wasn’t the result of an ‘‘honest’’ mistake, as Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has claimed.
‘‘They can get mad at me if they want, but I’m not buying the mistake thing,’’ Harbaugh said Tuesday on the “Waddle and Silvy’’ show on WMVP-AM (1000). ‘‘They knew what they were doing.’’
The Bears had agreed to swap first-round picks with the Ravens and give up a fourth-round selection to move up three slots to No. 26. But the Bears did not confirm the trade with the league office, as rules require. The Ravens, who consequently missed their turn at 26 and had to choose 27th, ended up drafting Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith while the Bears grabbed Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi, whom they had feared would be gone if they didn’t move up to get him. Each team getting the player it ultimately wanted is one reason why Angelo didn’t believe the Ravens needed to be compensated for the gaffe.
‘‘They put their guy on the phone,’’ Harbaugh said. ‘‘They agreed to a pick. They recognized he wasn’t getting calls from the team behind them, and they basically stalled for over a minute, telling us they had called the trade in. . . . They said it was a mistake. Those guys have been doing it for a long time. C’mon.’’
A Bears spokesperson said the team has ‘‘moved on.’’
Harbaugh said he would be hesitant to deal with the Bears in the future.
‘‘They basically just stole . . . from us, and that’s not OK,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not ethical, it’s not right. . . . They didn’t do anything illegal. We were just disappointed with it.’’
Camp on hold
The earliest the Bears will open training camp is Tuesday, according to ESPN. Players had been scheduled to report to Bourbonnais, Ill., on Friday.
Signs of the times
In the latest sign the lockout is winding down, the Bears announced single-game tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster at 11 a.m. on July 28. There’s a limit of four tickets per customer for regular-season games but no limit for exhibition games.
Yet another positive sign came when the NFL sent an e-mail to fans in the United Kingdom urging them to buy tickets to the Bears-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game scheduled for Oct. 23 at Wembley Stadium. The game would be played in Tampa, Fla., if the lockout went past Aug. 1.