STLtoday.com Sports
Wednesday, Aug. 10 2005

The Rams agreed to terms on a five-year contract with tackle Alex Barron, the
team announced Wednesday night. Details of the contract were not available.

Barron was the first offensive lineman taken by the Rams in the first round of
the NFL Draft since making tackle Orlando Pace the No. 1 overall pick in 1997.

It was not known when Barron would report to the team. He had missed 14 days of
training camp before Wednesday's development.

On Saturday, Rams coach Mike Martz voiced his frustrations with Barron's agent,
Roosevelt Barnes, over Barron's contract holdout.

In Sunday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Martz and Barnes both commented on the
negotiations between the Rams and Barron. "Let me just say this about this
agent," Martz said Saturday. "This is not about the player; this is about the
agent. Because what the kid is going to get out of his contract, the difference
(in money) is insignificant. What this agent is doing is recruiting other
players by doing this stuff.

"He's thumping his chest out there. It's bad for professional football. It's
bad for agents, you know; just the business of being an agent. It's just wrong.
He's not taking this kid's best interest at heart. I want you to print that. .
. . What he's doing is promoting himself as an agent, and that's just not
right."

When informed of those comments, Barnes replied Saturday: "I know Coach Martz
is a little frustrated. I wish we could have the deal done, too. I would've
preferred him to be in camp on time, also. But we're not there yet.

"You know, there's always two sides. I don't control the checkbook. We just
want what's best for the team and what's best for Alex. I don't think we're
asking for anything that's unfair. We're just asking for a market deal, really.

"If the difference in offers is insignificant, instead of attacking me, what he
should do is go to his people and say, 'This is insignificant. Let (Barron)
have it, so he can come on in.'

"That's what I would say. But Jay (Zygmunt) is a good guy to work with, and I
think we'll be able to work this stuff out."

The Rams held practices Wednesday at the Edward Jones Dome, working out for the
first time on the new FieldTurf surface. The team will hold Thursday's practice
there as well before opening their preseason schedule Friday night at home
against the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

With Barron's signing, the Rams have all but one of their 11 draft picks under
contract. Only guard Richie Incognito, the Rams' third-round draft selection
(81st overall), is still unsigned.