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  1. #1
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    [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    A LITTLE TALK

    Leonard Little's agent, Chad Alan Speck, spent Monday in St. Louis, trying to hammer out a contract extension for his client, whose contract expires after this season.

    But talks broke down, and Speck said that unless the two sides reach an unexpected agreement, St. Louis has informed him that Little will be slapped with its franchise tag.

    No star wants the franchise tag. It prevents him from landing a multi-year deal with the XL signing bonus. This year, the franchise tag for a defensive end is about $8.3 million, but Little would be expected to get more guaranteed up-front money on the open market, if he were ever allowed to hit it.

    But Little's leverage would be compromised in some ways; he does, after all, come with some baggage. He has been entangled in legal problems, and he turns 32 on Thursday. Still, the league pays a premium for pass rushers, and few do it any better than Little.

    Yet another indication that a deal won't get done between the two sides is that the Rams recently were able to reach agreement on a five-year deal worth close to $25 million with linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa. They stepped forward for him, tried to do the same with Little, but were unable to get the deal that each side wanted.
    http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story/9738675

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  2. #2
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    Needless to say, this is not good news. While i dont take the report as gospel, its discouraging. At leonards age, he has one big payday left in him and that is about it. If he chooses to try to test the open market, i am sure he would get a lot more than we will pay him. I also think that it probably makes sense to tag him because without him, we really have no proven pass rush of any kind and i dont see how it makes sense for him at his age to sit out and not collect the check. He could of course not sign the tender and not report until the end of camp, which would be an issue for us. It would disappoint me greatly if he chose to go that route, given how much loyalty the rams organization has shown to him over the years.

    If there was ever a situation screaming out for both sides to reach agreement its this one. The rams desperately need leonard little on their team. If there is any such thing as loyalty at all, you would think that this would be the case where the player would step up and take less to say. Alas, we dont know what the bid ask is and leonard has to do what he thinks is best for him and his family, not whats best for the rams or the fans. I dont see any way that we can just let him walk away and get nothing for him.

    At the end of the day, what all this really proves is that its not about loyalty on either side, its about self interest. The rams didnt stand by little because they were loyal to him, they stood by him because he is a spectacular player who they couldnt come close to replacing for the amount of money that they were paying him. Little may take a bit less to stay, but my bet is that discount might apply now, since if he signs a long term guaranteed deal now he is cutting his risk if god forbid he had a serious injury between now and the end of the season which could impair his market value. By the end of the season, it will be even tougher to work out a deal in my view and we will probably be looking at the Tag. I really hope i am wrong about that and that we can get something done soon.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  3. #3
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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    Here's how the process often works.

    1. Team and player/agent get together and start talking contract.

    2. There is a gap between the demand and the offer.

    3. Team mentions that it could use franchise tag if necessary.

    4. Agent goes to the press and whines, in the misguided hope that it will create leverage.

    5. A few weeks or months later, they two sides meet and a contract is signed (or not).

  4. #4
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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Here's how the process often works.

    1. Team and player/agent get together and start talking contract.

    2. There is a gap between the demand and the offer.

    3. Team mentions that it could use franchise tag if necessary.

    4. Agent goes to the press and whines, in the misguided hope that it will create leverage.

    5. A few weeks or months later, they two sides meet and a contract is signed (or not).
    Would the meeting include the player? My thought is that the agent usually stirs up the pot and the player doesn't always agree with what the agent is trying to pull. Wasn't that the case with the big O ?

  5. #5
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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    I doubt Little was in any meeting in person. Probably just by phone.

    The good news in this story is we can count on LL being a Ram in 2007 one way or another. For a 32 year old guy, the franchise tag is not a bad option for the team, as its only a one year commitment.

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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    Avenger, as always, makes a prudent and pertinent point in a precoscious and penetrating preamble. Paying leonard big money on a one year deal might be just fine for us. It minimizes our risk on the cap hit down the road and keeps him on a very short leash.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    ...prudent and pertinent point in a precoscious and penetrating preamble...
    Say that out loud 5 times fast.

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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    The rams desperately need Leonard Little on their team.-- GC
    LL certainly won't create as much of a hassle as Pace did (or rather his "special agent"). Yes, we need him big time!

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    Re: [NFL.com]: Contract talks w/ Little break down, could receive franchise tag

    I'm thinking it'll get done. They'll be some postering for a bit but in the end Little will end his career a Ram. He's got to see how, Holt, Bruce, now Pisa have been taken care of. He's got to like the situation he is in right now. New coach, new DC who loves to mix it up full throttle. What better scheme for him to be in at this point in his career, having a team that counts on him, rely's on him each week to do his thing and help the team win. The additions on defense this year has to have him thinking that the coach and front office want to establish themselves as a balanced team, and not just for the offense. Strong running game, tough defense. He's got to think that this is deffinately an up and coming defense, that is going to go places in the next few years, and contend for a championship.

    Take the money the Rams will give you, and be here for the next championship in St. Louis.

    Maineram - :l
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