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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bartell stays put, gets deal for 4 years

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Mar. 03 2009


    Make no mistake, football games aren't won in March and April. But the new-look
    Rams are making believers out of cornerback Ron Bartell. When a miserable 2-14
    season ended two months ago, Bartell wasn't sure he wanted to return to St.
    Louis.

    "Quite frankly, at first I didn't know," Bartell said Monday. "Because my first
    four years there weren't very good, on and off the field. But getting to know
    Billy (Devaney) and the kind of guys he brought in was big. Meeting Spags was
    huge."

    All of those factors weighed heavily in Bartell deciding to re-sign with the
    Rams. Bartell agreed to a four-year deal Monday afternoon, one that includes
    $13.6 million of guaranteed money. The overall value of the contract can max
    out at $28 million if certain incentives are meant.

    "The Saints made a strong push toward the end," said Bartell's agent, Jeff
    Griffin. "It was pretty close. It never came down to the money because they
    both were great deals."

    Bartell made a free-agent trip to New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday.

    "The trip went surprisingly well," Bartell said. "They said a lot of good
    things as far as being able to win right now, and what it would be like playing
    in a city like that that cares so much about football. But at the end of the
    day, I realized I could accomplish all that in St. Louis."

    About three weeks ago, Bartell flew into St. Louis on his own accord because he
    wanted to meet head coach Steve Spagnuolo (as well as new defensive coordinator
    Ken Flajole).

    "If I want to play for you, I want to see what you're all about," Bartell said.

    His conversation with Spagnuolo couldn't have gone better.

    "We talked about life and the philosophy of life," Bartell said. "We didn't
    even talk about football. We struck up a great rapport."

    It was that rapport, plus what Bartell viewed as a generally more communicative
    regime at Rams Park, that helped sway him toward staying in St. Louis.

    "Here I was a second-round draft pick, and I had not had one conversation with
    the previous general manager," Bartell said, referring to former Rams executive
    Jay Zygmunt. "Not one. How do you have a GM that doesn't even speak to the
    players? I've been one of the core players and I didn't even talk to the man.
    And when the top is not in order, it trickles from the top of the team down."

    But by the end of the day, Bartell did something close to a 180 in terms of his
    opinion of the Rams, and the Rams' organization.

    "Everything in my heart told me that St. Louis was the right place," Bartell
    said.

    Negotiations took a little longer than expected, but there was give and take on
    both sides. Originally, the Rams were offering $6 million a year, while
    Bartell's agent sought $8 million. Things reached a stalemate when it became
    clear that Griffin, the agent, wanted a deal that averaged more than the $6.8
    million a year that Atlanta cornerback Domonique Foxworth got to sign with
    Baltimore.

    In terms of hard dollars, Bartell may not reach that $7 million a year. But the
    incentives agreed upon by both sides at least give him the opportunity to do so.

    With his new contract comes new responsibility. And Bartell says he already has
    talked to teammate Oshiomogho Atogwe about becoming more of a leader in the
    locker room.

    He's already trying to exert some influence on James Butler, the free-agent
    safety from the New York Giants. Butler has continued negotiations with the
    Rams after visiting here over the weekend. Reports over the weekend indicated
    that Butler also was visiting Cleveland, but Butler's agent, Carl Poston, said
    Monday that that was not the case.

    Bartell and Atogwe know Butler pretty well; they worked out with him for a
    couple of weeks last offseason in Atlanta at Georgia Tech.

    "The business side is always important," Bartell said. "But he definitely wants
    to be a Ram. I can tell you that much. James is a great guy. He's a pretty damn
    good football player. He's got Super Bowl experience, and experience in this
    defense, which will help in the back end."


  2. #2
    Irishrover40's Avatar
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    Re: Bartell stays put, gets deal for 4 years

    [QUOTE=RamWraith;278419]By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Mar. 03 2009


    "Here I was a second-round draft pick, and I had not had one conversation with
    the previous general manager," Bartell said, referring to former Rams executive
    Jay Zygmunt. "Not one. How do you have a GM that doesn't even speak to the
    players? I've been one of the core players and I didn't even talk to the man.
    And when the top is not in order, it trickles from the top of the team down."

    Lord it is such a refreshing change to see this change from the stupid way things were handled in the past. NOW we have a GM and a coach who ARE FOOTBALL PEOPLE and not there trying to pick up a paycheck

    I am 68 years old and I feel like a 6 year old on Christmas morning the way I feel looking forward to this 2009 season and the rest of the FA and on to the draft & training camp.

    GO RAMS, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Bartell stays put, gets deal for 4 years

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Mar. 03 2009

    "Quite frankly, at first I didn't know," Bartell said Monday. "Because my first
    four years there weren't very good, on and off the field. But getting to know
    Billy (Devaney) and the kind of guys he brought in was big. Meeting Spags was
    huge."

    "
    It was big to change the culture at top players want to see if management really wants to win it is bad when players don't believe in the people that brought them in because management has poor people skills.
    :ramlogo:

  4. #4
    Frito's Avatar
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    Re: Bartell stays put, gets deal for 4 years

    "How do you have a GM that doesn't even speak to the players?"

    Now that the Culture at St.Louis is changed at the top. We can expect to be attractive to the passtionate player again.

    Prayers do get answered!

  5. #5
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Bartell stays put, gets deal for 4 years

    The truth comes out...

    So long and good riddance to bad Gms

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