The Bears have officially requested permission to speak to Eric DeCosta of the Baltimore Ravens, a league source told the Sun-Times.
ESPN first reported the news.
As I pointed out last night, DeCosta has been a hot candidate for several years, and he's been reluctant to even interview for openings. But, I cited a source last night that said DeCosta would "strongly consider" the Bears.
But will the Ravens permit the interview for the Bears open GM position?
If you recall, during the 2011 NFL Draft, the Ravens believed they had a trade in the first round with the Bears. The Ravens believed they were trading down, so the Bears could get Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, and they would move down to 29th and get a fourth-round pick.
But, the Bears didn't execute the trade, as agreed upon, and the Ravens missed their slot. The Ravens then selected cornerback Jimmy Smith, the player they wanted, but the club was irate afterwards.
"I'm disappointed in the Bears and the McCaskeys," Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun. "It is in my opinion a deviation from their great legacy. They concluded that their heartfelt and admirable apology was sufficient for our loss. All of us at the Ravens strongly disagree."
On Monday, Bears president Ted Phillips was asked about the botched Ravens trade.
"Out of respect for Jerry [Angelo], I'm not going to go through each individual item that didn't go well," Phillips said. "Obviously, that wasn't one of our greatest moments."
What's interesting is, the official NFL rules say that a team that wants to interview an employee of another club in the playoffs for a "high-level" vacancy must seek written permission from the owner.
Maybe Bisciotti sends that letter from the Bears to the shredder?
But, the Bears are reportedly one of three teams to seek permission from the Ravens to speak to DeCosta. If Bisciotti grants one requests, he essentially grants them all.
"Permission cannot be granted selectively," the NFL policy states.
Because DeCosta is under contract, though, the Ravens do not have to grant permission. But, if one of those teams was prepared to offer DeCosta the job, without an interview, then the Ravens cannot stand in his way.