Ravens' payback? Bears don't owe Baltimore

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Ravens' payback? Bears don't owe Baltimore

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted: 10:14 a.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Maybe the Baltimore Ravens really owe the Bears a thank-you instead of thinking the Bears owe them a draft pick.

Maybe the Ravens should cut the Bears a check.

Or maybe the trade snafu between the Bears and Baltimore Ravens was really just a matter of some sort of justice-scale balancing.

Somehow you have to think that Mike Tice probably thinks so.

It was Tice as Minnesota Vikings head coach in 2003 who thought a first-round deal was done with the Ravens and GM Ozzie Newsome. The Ravens didnt get their part of the trade completed with a phone call to the league, the trade didnt happen, Minnesota fell down a couple of places and the Vikings didnt get the draft picks they thought they had along with the player they wanted, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams.

Tice was miffed and he didnt even get so much as an apology from Newsome, whose comment was interesting: A deal is not a deal until I talk to Joel Bussert, and I never talked to Joel Bussert.

This was the same Joel Bussert who never got the Bears call Thursday night.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo offered an apology to the Ravens for the foul-up that resulted in the non-trade between the two teams, the Bears getting Gabe Carimi without giving the Ravens a fourth-round pick, and the Ravens missing their turn and falling behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the draft order.

Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged Angelo to give the Ravens a make-good on the deal and send them the pick they originally were going to. Angelo stood firm that the apology was all Baltimore was getting.

The only thing Im going to say is they have rules when you do something wrong, not when people make mistakes, Angelo said Friday night. A mistake was made, no rule was broken, okay, lets just make that clear here, and as Ive said last night, I think we made the proper amends from our part and certainly there was no intent other than to do the best we could and it just didnt work out.

Angelo isnt worried about his reputation or that of the Bears either, for that matter.

No, there isnt anyone in this media room that hasnt made a mistake, he said. We made an honest mistake, no more than that; theres total transparency. You make your apologies and we did. If there are consequences, you accept those consequences and then you move on. So be it. It wont be my last.

For that matter as well, maybe the Ravens should at least appreciate that the Bears saved them some money. Baltimore got the player it wanted in Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith but got him at No. 27 instead of 26, meaning a notch lower on the pay scale for rookies, whatever that ends up being based on negotiations for the upcoming collective bargaining agreement.

At last years rookie rates, the difference between the five-year contracts given to the Nos. 26 and 27 picks was about 600,000.

So, wonder if Ozzie Newsome or Ravens owner Steve Biscotti send the Bears a thank-you note, you know, with one of those white gift envelopes that have that little round hole where only the face on the money shows?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Can Deiondre' Hall overcome on- and off-field hurdles to make an impact with Bears?

Can Deiondre' Hall overcome on- and off-field hurdles to make an impact with Bears?

Rookie Deiondre' Hall flashed in the preseason a year ago, leading the Bears coaching staff and fans to believe they found something amidst their trio of 2016 fourth round draft picks. 

He’s hoping to do the same this August after overcoming one physical hurdle, while waiting to see if he can get past a legal hurdle he created for himself.

Let’s start on the field, where, just days after his first NFL interception in the fourth game last season, he sustained an ankle injury in practice, sidelining him for two months. Once his walking boot and scooter were finally put away, he was active for the final four games. But what progress he’d been making on the field was difficult to recapture.

“Just coming off the injury, there was a little rust here and there, but the training staff here’s great and I had to push through it,” Hall said at last week’s minicamp in Lake Forest after he was one of numerous Bears hit by the injury bug, but not one of the 19 who wound up on Injured Reserve. “(I was) getting comfortable with the defense and in myself playing with those guys out there, getting the opportunity in the red zone and making plays. But the injury kinda sucked because I haven’t really had an opportunity to play since Week 5, so I’m not necessarily starting fresh.”

As the offseason unfolded, Hall was informed the coaching staff was going to try him at safety, if not permanently, then as an option for the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Northern Iowa product. 

But Hall’s not totally foreign to the position. He was a free safety his first year in college, then transitioned to outside linebacker/nickel as a sophomore, moved to cornerback as a junior before breaking his hand his senior year, playing through it back where he started at safety. So the decision wasn’t a big deal, especially if it enhances his chances to get on the field. But his preference?

“Defense. Opportunity,” Hall responded. “You get in where you fit in and the more you can do, the better it is for the team. If opportunity presents itself at corner, then I’m at corner. But right now at safety, I’m making strides (there) and keep pushing for that.”

“We’re gonna float him back and forth,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said last month, after the Bears signed free agent cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in the off-season, while Bryce Callahan and Cre’Von LeBlanc are expected to battle for slot duty and former first-rounder Kyle Fuller and veterans Johnthan Banks and B.W. Webb hope to impress. “He (Hall) had some experience there in college. When it comes down to picking your team and you’re taking nine or 10 DBs, if someone’s got versatility to play both of those spots, that helps, so we’re gonna see if he’s one of those guys.”

But before Hall gets back to work in Bourbonnais, he’ll find out if he has some other dues to pay. Hall was back at his alma mater’s Cedar Falls campus March 26th when he and a former UNI teammate were arrested outside a bar called Sharky’s. Police had responded to a call, and by the time all was said and done, Hall needed to be tased before being arrested on charges of public intoxication, interference (with an arrest), and disorderly conduct. 

The case was continued late last month and Hall’s jury trial is scheduled for July 11th. Pending the outcome, he could face disciplinary action from the team and the NFL. He’s told his side of the story to Bears management and while expressing remorse for putting himself in the situation, Hall says it wasn’t in character and feels confident in what the outcome will be.

“People make mistakes and the truth always comes out,” the 23-year-old said, adding the situation isn’t weighing on his mind or affected his preparation in off-season workouts. “You gotta let people make their own mistakes. I won’t shed light but the truth always comes out, and (I’ve learned) just don’t take anything for granted.”

“My main focus is football and keep pushing to make strides to become good, and great.”

Bears announce training camp schedule

Bears announce training camp schedule

The Bears released their official training camp schedule Thursday morning. After reporting to Olivet Nazarene on Wednesday, July 26, the first of ten practices open to the public will take place the following day. The Bears will be based out of Bourbonnais for the 16th straight season. Training camp will go through Sunday, Aug. 13 before the Bears break camp and finish the preseason in Lake Forest. 

All practices are tentatively scheduled to start at various times during the 11 a.m. hour with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 13, which starts at 12:05 p.m. Those times are subject to change based on weather, and a varying set of schedules that John Fox and his coaching staff have set up, as they adjust to player and training staff preferences in hopes of reducing injuries. 

Also, new this season, fans wanting to attend practices must order free tickets in advance through the Bears website. Fans will not be allowed in without a ticket, and the first 1,000 fans each day will be given various souvenirs. The practice campus will be open to the public with tickets from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Here is the full training camp schedule: