HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Always fascinating. Always fast. Certainly very interesting. And, I'm captivated by it all.
Here's what I saw in the Ravens' draft room with the trading of our 1st-round pick – the 25th spot – last night:
When the Broncos were still on the clock at the 22nd slot, they called Ozzie. Newsome congratulated them for taking WR Demaryius Thomas, the WR from Georgia Tech, and offered that we also had Thomas high on our board. On the phone, Ozzie said: "Still interested? What will you give us?" (The Broncos had called Ozzie prior to the draft to gauge our interest in moving our 1st-rounder.)
Newsome finished the call after writing down the Denver offer. He then told the room what the Broncos were willing to give. Steve Bisciotti, who is one of those guys who is very good and fast with numbers, immediately said: "That's a good offer." Pat Moriarty, our VP of Football Administration, who is responsible for keeping the chart that values trades – I'll talk about this later – added up the value of the Broncos offer, and agreed with Steve. "That's good, Ozzie. It's over the points for our spot," Moriarty explained.
Dick Cass, our president, asked: "Would we make this trade no matter which players are at 25?" Ozzie nodded yes, but opened the room for discussion: "What does everybody think?"
After a few brief comments, a call from another team came in, and Ozzie said: "You'll have to do better than that. We have a strong offer. Call back if you want to give more." (Green Bay then took Bryan Bulaga at the 23rd spot.)
After fielding another call from a separate team interested in our pick, I heard Ozzie say: "You're not close. We have a much better offer."
Newsome, after a quiet conversation with Eric DeCosta, then turned to Bisciotti and said: "I'm going to see if I can get it sweetened a little." He called the Broncos and explained that if the Broncos gave us their 2nd-round slot (43), their high 3rd (70) and their 4th (114), "we can get this done." The Broncos immediately said yes. "Let's stay on the phone through this pick (24)," Newsome added.
As Oz talked with the Broncos, DeCosta got a text indicating that New England was listening to offers to trade the 24th spot. Eric then said Dallas was taking the selection. Oz relayed that to the Broncos' official on the phone and offered: "Bet Jerry (Jones) is coming up to get Dez (Bryant)," which is exactly what happened.
We were now on the clock. Ozzie told Moriarty to report the trade to the league, asking the Broncos to do the same from their end. Steve put up his hand and said to Ozzie: "Let's wait. See if we get another offer." Oz politely told the Broncos, "I'll call you right back." Newsome smiled at our owner: "Steve, we're not going to get a better offer." Bisciotti laughed and said:
After about four minutes passed – and the phone didn't ring with a better offer – Oz told Pat: "Send it in."
Pretty intense 20 minutes or so. Now we have to parlay those picks into some good players. That will be tonight and tomorrow's excitement.
Kevin Byrne, a Ravens senior vice president, has worked in the NFL for 32 years. Byrne has been with the Ravens since the start of the franchise in 1996. Earlier in his career, Byrne was the sports information director at Marquette University, his alma mater, when they won the 1977 NCAA basketball championship under coach Al McGuire.