NFL journalists keeping the Bears-Ravens Draft snafu in the spotlight

Post-draft and pre-camp is one of the slowest times of the year for the National Football League, and even more so this year, with the labor dispute seemingly putting everything on hold for the indefinite future.

Journalists can have a difficult task in creating headlines and bringing interesting information to their readers during the slow season, so we do expect to see a lot of analysis on silly, unimportant events.  Peter King and Michael Lombardi have both recently continued talking about the botched trade between the Bears and Ravens during the Draft, and both seem to think the Bears owe the Ravens.

King:  "The right thing would have been to give Baltimore something -- either the fourth-round pick or some pick to make up for what turned out to be a broken promise. The NFL ruled because the Bears never informed the league of the deal, it wasn't official. I like Jerry Angelo a lot. Always have. But this is dead wrong, and it's a terrible message to send to fans and people who follow the league."

Lombardi:  "Angelo claimed after the draft, 'No harm, no foul, everyone got their man.' However, there was harm, there was a foul. Harm in the sense that the Ravens thought they had a deal, they could have lost their man, and they were left in limbo -- the worst place to be on draft day. A foul in the sense that the Bears kept a pick they agreed to trade just minutes before. Chicago ended up using that fourth-round selection in a different deal to move up and take defensive tackle Stephen Paea, someone they considered drafting in the first round had all the offensive linemen been off the board."

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My job here at WCG includes a lot of things, but maintaining an unbiased opinion is not one of them.  However, for the sake of argument, I will offer my objective, unbiased opinion on this situation:

Anytime there is a procedure in place, there is also a policy underneath it.  In this instance, we have:

Policy: Work amongst yourselves, and decide what trades you want to make.  Make verbal agreements.

Procedure: Call the league, announce the deal, and sign the paperwork later.

Yes, it sounds like Jerry Angelo's Draft Team did not follow the proper procedure for making a trade.  Anytime you have a policy/procedure violation, there should be a clear definition of what the punishment will be.  If not, let the higher-ups (in this case, the league) do an investigation and determine if anything should be done.

They did both.  So we should now move on.  But, by "move on", I don't mean "keep it in the headlines for as long as possible".

Sounds like to me the next step would be putting more specific procedures in place... This year, each team got their man, but the next time, maybe something worse happens.

So, my idea: Stop griping about how the Bears did something wrong and how they owe the Ravens, and come up with a solution to prevent any gray areas next year.  Guys like King and Lombardi are way closer to the league than I ever will be... let's see them use their creative energy on offering solutions.

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