Heavily panting Tony bolted through the door, down the hall and right into the war room.
"Mike Peterson, not Joey Porter." He gasped and let out a dry cough before he grabbed a cup of water.
"What is wrong with you today Roy?" A man asked out of concern while he rubbed his temple in exasperation.
"After I hit my head, I've been out of it. I apologize. The mistake in the first round was my fault alone. I can only be thankful every person in this room trusted me enough to make the right call. Now I have to ask you to trust me for the next six rounds." He bowed his head in forgiveness. This wasn't a battle worth fighting, nor was it one he could win. Every man in this room needed to trust one another, stabbing one another isn't going to solve the problems that appear in the future. Giving up a loss here will overall help him later.
Chris Palmer was the defacto leader of the couches, he was the head coach after all. "Well whatever you do, remember this isn't the time for games. This your livelihood on the line. What do you have planned for the next two rounds?"
Tony looked off to the TV to see who was on the clock, 28 Detroit Lions.
"I suggest Peterson at 32 and either a Wide Reciever or Running Back at 45. Who's left on the board for those places?"
"We are looking at Kevin Johnson, Peerless Price, D'Wayne Bates, Darrin Chiaverini, Malcolm Johnson, and Brandon Stokley for WR.
For RB, Kevin Faulk, J.J. Johnson, Madre Hill, Joe Montgomery, Mike Cloud, and Shawn Bryson.
We ourselves were initially leaning towards a WR in Kevin Johnson but without a QB a RB will be the better option." Palmer had gone into full detail at noticing Roy was out of it completely today.
Tony nodded in agreement before he went over all the names in his head. He had future plans for a QB but he couldn't remember the player's name for the life of him. He only remembered he played for New Orlands, The Saints. He couldn't worry about that right now, he had to think of who was the best remaining RB of this draft.
None of these names rang a bell in his mind, which means none of them were stud backs.
"Who do you believe is the best choice of these backs?" He enquired from Palmer beside him who was also staring at the draft board.
"Kevin Faulk but I believe they are all about equal. I would wait till the fifth and select Madre Hill."
"I say we go with Kevin Faulk now." Roy held a wide smile at the realization at what he was about to do. Faulk was initially selected 46th by New England, Patriots.
"We are next on the clock!" An intern shouted and broke Roy and Chris away from their thoughts.
It was like a hammer. He had forgotten something extremely important. A lopsided trade he can now be a part of. He almost screwed himself out of a chance of something amazing.
"Get Atlanta on the line! We'll select Faulk at 45." Roy stated his face stern in front of the others, the smile from moments ago lost.
"Wait! Why don't we go with a WR and draft a QB to go with him later?" Tony Sparano, QB coach, commented.
"Timing, I believe there will be a better WR later but not a better RB." It was an explanation based on trust. It's not like he truly knew why these players were picked when they were, he only knew. He lived these times in history before, so he, of course, knew who would be good and who wouldn't.
As to why? He didn't know, be it route running, size, arm strength, mental aptitude. Whatever the criteria maybe he didn't know squat about it. He only knew Kevin Johnson was a good WR but something better was now on his plate.
"Are we just supposed to mindlessly believe you on this? A kid?" Sparano further pushed visibly annoyed.
"Yes, you are. I was hired for this. You think I want to get fired year one?"
"After the first round pass and almost being out for the second, maybe. You were at a bar right? That's how you got the stain on your shirt correct, beer? How do we know you aren't drunk right now?"
"You're right it is beer. I'm not drunk, merely was overwhelmed by the situation. I'm a kid in comparison to the rest of you lot. I do know how to draft though. It's why I was hired for the job. Now will you allow me to do it, or are we going to spend the next 16 minutes arguing?"
Sparano begrudgingly and reluctantly conceded to Roy. This wasn't the time for arguing, Roy has a plan and he should allow him to do it. If it is bad, allow himself to hanged by it, if good -- gift him momentary trust.
"Atlanta is on the line!"
"Everyone quiet!" The room quieted down at Roy's request.
"Put them on speaker!" He made his way over to the intern and sat down beside the intercom phone. They nodded when it was unmuted.
"Hello, Harold. I have a trade for you."
"Whatever could you offer that is worth while Roy?" Harold sounded condescending from the other end.
"Draft picks, with being an expansion team this year I have come into extra picks. I was thinking of using one of them on a TE out of Mississpi. But I could be moved to trade this pick away for the right price?"
The other end hesitated and Tony knew he hit exactly where he needed. "Why would we be interested?"
"Come on now Harold. We both know, you want Kelly. Guess what, I'll allow you to pick him too. However, I need something in exchange. I have a job to keep and after my first experience let's just admit I'm not the most liked man here." Weakness is never something suggested to admit in negotiations but it is better for the side with the weakness to come out with and laugh about it than to allow the other side to blindside them.
The other side went silent and Tony knew they bit. He requested the intern to mute him as he turned to everyone else in the room. "Before they make an offer I'm informing all you what I want from this trade. Picks next year, specifically their first rounder next year."
"You believe you can get them to agree to that?"
Tony didn't get time to reply as Harold returned with an offer, "We'll give you our second round this year, and third round this year."
Tony lightly laughed, "Guess you don't want him so badly then. Here's what I want your first round next year, and your fifth round next year as well."
"There is no way we are doing that!" The other end shouted.
"Cleveland is now on the clock!"
"Call Kelly, inform him we will be picking him," Tony ordered.
With a smirk, he turned back to the speakerphone, "Oh, sorry looks like time is coming to an end."
"Wait wait!" Harold cried.
"We can't do a first and fifth. We can do a first though. That's our offer." He was jumpy. Initially, this offer was the exact one from 1999 between Atlanta, Falcons, and Baltimore, Ravens. Now, it was different.
"Tsk. Moments ago that would have been a fine trade. Now, it is a different world. I don't need an added fifth, I'll instead take a sixth."
"No way! Only a first round."
"Too bad. Have a good day Harold." Tony then hung up the phone.
Everyone in the room was shocked. Some were even furious. Tony didn't care though, he knew Harold would call back. As time ticked away and less than a minute off pure tension the phone rang.
"I'm glad to hear."
Tony then muted the call and told an intern to inform New York of the trade.
"It's a pleasure, Harold. You got yourself a stud TE."
Harold returned the pleasantry but in a much spiteful tone in comparison to Tony's cheerful.
"There has been a trade, between Cleveland and Atlanta. In exchange for the 32nd overall pick, Atlanta gave a first and sixth round in 2000."
There were boos with a few cheers mixed in. The fans were never fans of trades.
The commentators were a different story though.
"A quick comeback after a "failed" first round."
"If we wipe the initial blemish he had a good first two picks. Who do you think he will pick at 45th?"
"At this rate, he may trade it away."
"I'm thinking a WR, or QB."
"A LB, might be a good fit. Looks to me he will be focusing more on defense."