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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Len Pasquarelli with the lastest on Richie Incognito

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/colum...=2163227&num=0


    A few weeks ago, we detailed the case of Richie Incognito, the former Nebraska offensive lineman chosen by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the draft and, at that point, one of only three prospects from the 2005 pool of 255 draftees who had not signed a contract. Since then, the other two unsigned draftees, Chicago first-round running back Cedric Benson and New Orleans fourth-round wide receiver Chase Lyman, have inked deals, leaving Incognito, well, literally incognito. While the player and agent Jack Scharf still contend Incognito might sit out the entire 2005 season and re-enter the draft in 2006, there could be a breakthrough of sorts this weekend. ESPN.com has confirmed that, with the Rams playing at Arizona Sunday, and the unsigned Incognito still training in the Phoenix area, arrangements have been made for St. Louis team doctors to do a first-hand evaluation of the player's surgically repaired left knee. The results of that examination, and the apparent thaw in discussions between the two sides, could eventually culminate in a contract agreement.

    Incognito ignored a team-imposed deadline three weeks ago, feeling the Rams were low-balling him, and opted to continue his rehabilitation with his own trainers. Incognito injured his knee at the scouting combine in February, not while running a 40-yard dash or in the vertical jump, but rather while essentially serving as a blocking dummy in a pass-block "mirror" drill. He aggravated the injury during a subsequent workout for NFL scouts and was forced to undergo surgery to repair his kneecap. The Rams and every other team in the league knew Incognito faced a four- to five-month rehabilitation. And every team knew of his past problems, being suspended at Nebraska and booted off the team, and then failing to meet the transfer requirements established by Oregon coach Mike Bellotti. But even with those encumbrances, and the fact Incognito had not played since 2003, when he was an all-Big 12 performer, the Rams invested the 81st overall pick on him.

    According to NFL salary documents obtained by ESPN.com, St. Louis has just $367,280 remaining in rookie pool funds. That means the Rams can offer Incognito a maximum signing bonus of $411,840 on a three-year contract or $549,120 on a four-year deal. But looking at the draft slots surrounding him in the third round, Incognito's market value on a three-year contract is more in the range of $528,000-$530,000 on a three-year contract and about $700,000 for four years. It's impossible, though, with the scant money left in their rookie pool, for the Rams to reach those levels. Those numbers can't change. What might change, however, over the weekend is the tone of negotiations. "The rehabilitation has gone well, and Richie still feels like he would be able to help the Rams this season," Scharf said. "So we'll see how things go."


    The Rams official who has been dealing with Scharf on the Incognito negotiations, director of football administration Samir Suleiman, was in the news this week, but for all the wrong reasons. Suleiman is being reprimanded by the Rams, team president John Shaw announced, for leaving a threatening message on the voice mail of St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist (and good buddy of the Tip Sheet) Bernie Miklasz. In an Aug. 28 column, Miklasz opined that team executives, no matter how they feel about coach Mike Martz, owe him their support instead of backstabbing him. He never cited Sulieman by name in the column. But apparently in response, Suleiman left a message on Miklasz's voice mail, noting in part: "Tell your source that I'm not a backstabber. I'm a [expletive] throat slasher, and he'll know the difference before it's all said and done." Shaw would not divulge what the reprimand would entail but acknowledged that Suleiman, who has been with the franchise for six seasons, demonstrated "a lack of judgment."


  2. #2
    Chiledog's Avatar
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    Re: Len Pasquarelli with the lastest on Richie Incognito

    ESPN.com has confirmed that, with the Rams playing at Arizona Sunday, and the unsigned Incognito still training in the Phoenix area, arrangements have been made for St. Louis team doctors to do a first-hand evaluation of the player's surgically repaired left knee. The results of that examination, and the apparent thaw in discussions between the two sides, could eventually culminate in a contract agreement.
    I fail to see what this examination has to do with the "thaw in discussions, and an eventual culmination in a contract agreement".

    I'm sure that if the Rams needed to examine the knee, they would send their docs to do an examination when they deemed it necessary, and not wait until they happened to be in the area anyway. What, the Rams can't afford to fly their doctors to Pheonix to check on a draft pick?!? Also, if there is no more money, then there is no more money! Regardless of how the exam goes, it can play no role in the amount of money the Rams can offer Richie. Man, is this what ESPN considers sports reporting?!?

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  3. #3
    RamsFan16's Avatar
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    Re: Len Pasquarelli with the lastest on Richie Incognito

    Jeeze if he goes back into the draft I'm going to be poed
    RamsFan16

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    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: Len Pasquarelli with the lastest on Richie Incognito

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiledog
    I fail to see what this examination has to do with the "thaw in discussions, and an eventual culmination in a contract agreement".

    I'm sure that if the Rams needed to examine the knee, they would send their docs to do an examination when they deemed it necessary, and not wait until they happened to be in the area anyway. What, the Rams can't afford to fly their doctors to Pheonix to check on a draft pick?!? Also, if there is no more money, then there is no more money! Regardless of how the exam goes, it can play no role in the amount of money the Rams can offer Richie. Man, is this what ESPN considers sports reporting?!?

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    Well if the docs find something wrong with the knee the entire league would then be aware of the knee problem, thereby reducing his value and weakening his contract demands.

    On the other side of the coin, if there is no problem with the knee he gains some leverage in his contract demands.




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    Chiledog's Avatar
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    Re: Len Pasquarelli with the lastest on Richie Incognito

    Well if the docs find something wrong with the knee the entire league would then be aware of the knee problem, thereby reducing his value and weakening his contract demands.
    Agreed that if something is found to be wrong, then his value would be reduced. However, I can't believe that the Rams have not aready evaluated the knee before offering him a contract, especially since the contract dispute has arrived at an impasse. It would seem foolhardy to me that the Rams would not have already had him checked out by their docs and arrived at the conclusion that Richie is going to be able to mend completely.

    On the other side of the coin, if there is no problem with the knee he gains some leverage in his contract demands.

    In one sense he gains leverage, but it can in no way effect the amount of money that the Rams can give him, since they have apparently already offered him the most they can. Not only that, but I must assume that the Ram's offer would not change anyway, since they are offering Richie a contract in full belief that he will soon be completely healthy and able to contribute to the team. If that were not the case, then they would not have even made an offer.
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    Re: Len Pasquarelli with the lastest on Richie Incognito

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiledog
    Agreed that if something is found to be wrong, then his value would be reduced. However, I can't believe that the Rams have not aready evaluated the knee before offering him a contract, especially since the contract dispute has arrived at an impasse. It would seem foolhardy to me that the Rams would not have already had him checked out by their docs and arrived at the conclusion that Richie is going to be able to mend completely.
    Maybe they did check him out at a previous time and they want to do a follow-up. Injuries tend to heal at different rates for different people and there is also the possibility of re-injury during rehab. Personally I have no idea one way or the other. I do however think it is a good sign that both sides have agreed to meet, albeit in this manner, they are still meeting.



    Quote Originally Posted by Chiledog
    In one sense he gains leverage, but it can in no way effect the amount of money that the Rams can give him, since they have apparently already offered him the most they can. Not only that, but I must assume that the Ram's offer would not change anyway, since they are offering Richie a contract in full belief that he will soon be completely healthy and able to contribute to the team. If that were not the case, then they would not have even made an offer.
    Hmmm.....I don't know. These are shrewd businessmen with lots of angles to play out. Also, I would never look past the creative forms of finding money by these folks.




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