Clearing The Air On Tuesday's Stories; Karney On His Honeymoon
By Howard Balzer
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday was a crazy day. Things were quiet until I received word that Rams wide receiver Torry Holt and former tackle Orlando Pace had not received letters detailing the team’s offseason conditioning program that begins Monday. I was also told that Holt was upset about a lack of communication from the organization.
A story was written and eventually made its way to some Internet sites. That’s when things got interesting. Bill Coats of the Post-Dispatch posted a blog on stltoday.com at 2:40 pm, saying, “Wide receiver Torry Holt and tackle Orlando Pace are, indeed, welcome at Rams Park when the offseason conditioning program begins Monday, according to a high-ranking team official. He said a report elsewhere that Holt and Pace were not invited was untrue.”
At about that time, while on local radio, I received a call from Kennard McGuire, Holt’s agent, saying that I had made an error in my story about “communications” with his client and he asked that I call him. At 3:40, the Rams sent out an announcement that Pace had been released.
I didn’t realize McGuire had left a message until late in the afternoon, and when I called him back then and once Wednesday, he didn’t answer and has yet to return my calls.
Wednesday morning, Rams general manager Billy Devaney told me there has been communication with Holt, and later in the day confirmed that my report about both players not receiving the letter was accurate.
In retrospect, what I wrote about Holt was too strong. He was upset about the situation and there being periods with no communication. But, I went too far when I wrote, “Holt has had no contact from anyone in the organization since Steve Spagnuolo was hired as head coach.”
Devaney and the Rams are trying to be sensitive to doing things the right way, especially in the manner in which the franchise’s iconic players are handled in difficult situations.
Still, it’s baffling how the Post-Dispatch didn’t mention the part about Holt that wasn’t totally accurate, yet debunked the report about the letter when that was absolutely true.
KARNEY CAN’T STOP SMILING
The Rams pounced fast this past weekend when fullback Mike Karney was released by the New Orleans Saints on Friday.
Karney’s agent heard from the Rams Saturday, and by Tuesday night he was in St. Louis and under contract. While he sat at a table Wednesday with strong safety James Butler as they both answered questions from the media, Karney couldn’t stop smiling.
For that there are several reasons.
When the Saints called last Thursday evening to tell him he would released the next day, Karney was in Orange County, Calif., and on the way to his rehearsal dinner. Yes, his rehearsal dinner. The next night he was getting married to Kim, his companion for more than six years.
“I had no bitterness,” he said. “It’s just the way the business is.”
If truth be told, he fully expected to hear from the Rams. Karney had a sense the Saints were moving away from what he does best: be a hammer in the blocking game at 5-11, 255. So it was that Karney said, “When the Rams hired (Steve) Spagnuolo, I told my wife, ‘Keep an eye on St. Louis. They are going to be looking for a fullback. It’s really a blessing in disguise what happened in New Orleans, because now I can do what I love to do. This is a perfect fit.”
“I know what my position is all about, I know what it stands for. I know what my approach is, my mindset is and I know I’m here to block and get it done for our offense in any way, shape or form. That’s run blocking, that’s picking up blitzes, that’s whatever that may be. That’s what I’m here to do.”
Karney is also blessed with a wonderful wife. Introducing Karney Wednesday, Spagnuolo said that he was spending his honeymoon in St. Louis. That was no joke. It turns out the honeymoon was set to begin tomorrow (Friday), but it’s been postponed so he can be with his teammates on the first day of the offseason conditioning program that begins Monday.
“This is a new start, with new people to meet,” he said, still smiling. “It’s time to get off on the right foot and get to work.”
And yes, Kim, who was in attendance, was smiling, too.
Center Jason Brown’s revised contract was submitted to the league office Tuesday after it was disapproved by the NFL. The original rule violated the new 30-percent rule in effect with this scheduled to be the final season with a salary cap.
The rule says a player’s yearly compensation can’t increase more than 30 percent of what the first-year compensation is, aside from a signing bonus. Brown will be paid $4 million this year, a figure that includes a $3 million roster bonus and $1 million base salary. That means in no year can he be paid more than $1.2 million more than the season before.
The 2013 year in the original contract could be voided if Brown reaches certain performance levels combined with team accomplishments. If the year was voided, the Rams could elect to buy it back for $2.3 million, but that latter figure would put 2013 over the 30-percent threshold. It’s unknown what new language there now is in the contract.
Re: Clearing The Air On Tuesday's Stories; Karney On His Honeymoon
kinda sad way for torry to leave, he's one of my favourite rams.
im loving mike karney though, sounds like a great guy and team player, cant wait to see the power running backfield in action.