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Emery talks about the secrecy of the Jared Allen talks


No one knew the Bears were negotiating with defensive end Jared Allen.  And that’s exactly how the Bears wanted it.

They managed to keep it completely quiet until the deal was done.  Then, for good measure, the Bears kept it under wraps until it was too late for G.M. Phil Emery or coach Marc Trestman to be asked anything about the acquisition before they bolted from Orlando on the final day of the league meetings.

During the press conference that streamed over, Emery boasted about the measures taken to keep it all quiet last week in Florida, which included dodging a national reporter (it wasn’t me) who nearly witnessed a meeting between team representatives and agent Ken Harris.

“We knew to have it remain silent,” Emery said, via John Mullin of CSN Chicago, “we couldn’t have anybody see us meet or shake hands, so we met at night away from the hotel.  But Ken had come to meet us and we were standing out facing the parking lot and [the reporter] walked to [Bears contract negotiator] Cliff Stein and shook his hand. . . .

“I grabbed Ken [Harris].  I pulled him around and put him behind a post.  And then [the reporter] walked off. . . .  No one saw Ken and we did that off campus.”

It’s unclear why the Bears insisted on secrecy, or why Harris agreed to go along with it.  The only plausible explanation is that the Bears were offering much more than anyone else, and that the Bears didn’t want to wake up a team like the Seahawks, prompting them to increase their own position.  To get Harris to play ball, the Bears presumably made the Patriots-style threat/promise that if word of the talks leaks, the talks immediately would end.

Still, it wasn’t necessary to continue the ruse until after Trestman had fulfilled his media obligation at the NFC coaches’ breakfast.  That was an optional move by the Bears, aimed at steering traffic to their own media properties.

Right or wrong, it worked.

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31 Responses to “Emery talks about the secrecy of the Jared Allen talks”
  1. thevikesarebest says: Mar 31, 2014 5:45 PM

    The bears much like the cheeseheads will be watching the vikings in the playoffs as div champs.if the packers make it as a wildcard u already know they are a automatic first round elimination.vikings=NFC north champs.10-6.SKOL

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 31, 2014 5:46 PM

    “Emery, is that your first name?”

    “No, do I look like an Emery?”

    “Well, as a matter of fact……”.

  3. shatho1 says: Mar 31, 2014 5:50 PM

    even if they wouldn’t have kept it secret I don’t think anyone would’ve been willing to pay a much as da bears! good luck

  4. donnymacjack says: Mar 31, 2014 5:50 PM

    My guess is they were scared to death the Seahawks would up their offer. Sad as it never would have happened.

  5. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 31, 2014 5:54 PM

    Sounds like somebody just wanted to have fun doing cloak-and-dagger stuff. Negotiations with free agents are rarely kept this secret, so what’s the point?

  6. vicnocal says: Mar 31, 2014 6:07 PM

    You’d think they were negotiating an international nuclear weapons peace agreement and not the contract of a past-his-prime pass rusher to join a .500 football team.

  7. rextraordinaire says: Mar 31, 2014 6:12 PM

    The irony here is that Oakland not only was openly pursuing Allen, but they actually offered more.

  8. daveyboy043692 says: Mar 31, 2014 6:13 PM

    Vikings divisions champs? That’s rich!!

  9. rufusporter says: Mar 31, 2014 6:16 PM

    Seahawks were never going to overpay for a 32 year old DE. But at least he had fun.

  10. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 31, 2014 6:32 PM

    Seahawks had a set number. That’s pretty much public knowledge. Bears were bidding against themselves. I don’t see why the guy is so giddy about it because he probably overpaid.

  11. drock36 says: Mar 31, 2014 6:34 PM

    A 15.5m guarantee doesn’t off set the secrecy of the deal. It is quite a bit for an aging DE, but, let’s face it, after losing Peppers, Melton and missing out on MBennett, it probably makes sense for the Bears, who were in desperate need for D Line help.

  12. bigsowce604 says: Mar 31, 2014 6:40 PM

    Lamarr Houston was the real steal.

  13. stealthjunk says: Mar 31, 2014 6:45 PM

    Clearly they missed the memo that no one really cared. That was the key factor in their secretive success.

  14. larryboodry says: Mar 31, 2014 6:50 PM

    Emery always plays things close to the vest, so this is no real surprise. Was all the secrecy necessary? Maybe, maybe not, but they got the deal done, so you’ll hear no complaints from me.

  15. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 31, 2014 7:01 PM

    I guess Emery is worried that teams will steal the Bears signature move – the late season collapse.

  16. osiris33 says: Mar 31, 2014 7:09 PM

    Seahawks were the only other team with an offer on the table, and it was for half the $$$$.

  17. backdapack4evr says: Mar 31, 2014 7:12 PM

    Packers bears and lions!!
    After that the NFC North has nothing!!

  18. sonofsamadams says: Mar 31, 2014 7:23 PM

    The Bears insisted on secrecy because they didn’t want the Chicago media to know they were offering twice as much as anyone else.

  19. whatjusthapped says: Mar 31, 2014 7:43 PM

    What isn’t a secret is that Allen is over the hill and the Bears paid way too much.

    Now lets see if the Bears can keep the firing of their GM a secret come the end of the season.

  20. douglasgreenbriar says: Mar 31, 2014 8:20 PM

    Phil wasn’t sure whether Jared Allen was a free agent or a secret agent.

  21. bears5683 says: Mar 31, 2014 8:23 PM

    Bears essentially traded a 34 year old past his prime DE for a hopefully little bit less past his prime 32 Year old DE and saved a whole lotta cap space.

  22. mnlittle says: Mar 31, 2014 9:10 PM

    Nobody was going to out bid the Bears. They are who overpaid. Keeping this quiet was unnecessary.

  23. chad504boy says: Mar 31, 2014 9:11 PM

    No one cared either

  24. purpleguy says: Mar 31, 2014 9:32 PM

    I don’t quite get the secrecy when teams weren’t exactly clamoring over the guy based on his contract parameters, but if Emery wanted the chance to use his super-secret spy contract negotiation kit, more power to him.

  25. Youknowimright says: Mar 31, 2014 9:32 PM

    Stealth mode on a 75 yr old d end that no one else was going to pay that much. Slick.

  26. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 31, 2014 9:40 PM

    Emery has done the most with what he could get his hands on this FA.

    Emery is a Godsend compared to Angelo.

    All the negative Cutler and Allen posts reveal your ignorance. Bears only good on paper…..Cutler will never win a SB…Jared is past his prime……OK Sure, well easy to say that now, but shouldn’t be said until it’s a fact.

    Go Bears!

  27. sportsguy3434 says: Mar 31, 2014 10:03 PM

    He fancies himself as Jason Bourne and memorized the license plates of all the cars in the parking lot. He also interrogated him about his sources.

  28. 46plank says: Mar 31, 2014 11:46 PM

    The Bears have built a ton of flexibility with their moves for the upcoming draft. I think they still add youth on all three levels of their defense. Offensively I think they add a TE and a burner to take the top of the coverage from time to time. Not that they need to do that when they have the two monsters on the edge to go deep if they want.

    I think they’ve set themselves up to get younger while still competing for a championship. Allen, Briggs, Tillman will be there to bring the younger guys along while they remain right there with the best of the NFC.

    Phil Emery is a ninja and I love it. The Allen signing is essentially a two year deal and not a cap crippler at all. This franchise is setting itself up for sustained success. Just gotta do a better job of drafting defense. I’m convinced Trestman is an offensive genius and our offense will put a ton of points on the board. If Cutler goes down I’m convinced Trestman can get Jordan Palmer paid as well after a masterful couple of games. Dude can coach the QB, much like McCarthy.

  29. judsonjr says: Apr 1, 2014 12:26 AM

    This was a good signing for the Bears, but you have to be a bunch of rubes to think the “secrecy” did anything. Everyone knows darn well Allen’s agent wouldn’t have been in on the secret if it meant less money for his client.

    There are really only two explanations. #1 – Allen wanted to go to the Bears and the visit to the Seahawks was just to drive the price up. #2 – The Bears were far and away offering the most money.

  30. joenash72 says: Apr 1, 2014 12:44 AM

    The reporter was John Clayton of ESPN. He talked about it today on the local ESPN radio station here in Seattle. “The Professor” is on every day at 4pm here.

  31. jayquintana says: Apr 1, 2014 3:46 PM

    And they had to do this, because… ?

    I mean, what if there wasn’t this secrecy? What would’ve happened?

    REPORTER: Coach Trestman, we hear the Bears are talking to Jared Allen, care to comment?
    TRESTMAN: No. Have a nice day.

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