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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Mar. 24 2006

    Matt Turk apparently is in as the Rams' new punter, not Jason Baker. And Baker
    isn't sure exactly how that happened.

    By all accounts, Baker had a great free-agent visit with the Rams on Wednesday
    and Thursday. Baker hit it off with special teams coach Bob Ligashesky.

    "Coach Ligashesky's an outstanding guy," Baker said. "Would be a great guy to
    play for, I think. (Place-kicker) Jeff Wilkins and I talked on the phone a
    number of times."

    Baker said his meeting with head coach Scott Linehan went well. But when Baker
    returned home Thursday afternoon to Carmel, Ind., he was chagrined to learn
    that the Rams were going with Turk, with the implication that Baker's contract
    demands were beyond what the Rams were willing to pay.

    "There was never even an offer presented," Baker said. "Literally, there was no
    negotiation. I went over there with the intent of leaving a Ram. But I was
    never even given an opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' to anything. All I got was
    a steak and had a doctor poke me a couple times.

    "The thing about it is, if they would have just said, 'You know what, we're
    thinking about maybe signing Matt Turk. We may be able to sign him for quite a
    bit less.' I would've understood that.

    "Matt Turk, when he is healthy, he's a great punter. No disrespect to him. But
    to sort of use the 'we negotiated and we couldn't get Baker to take what we
    offered,' just to make it justifiable to you guys (the media). ... We never
    even had a conversation about a dollar."

    According to Baker, the Rams kind of floated the idea of Baker playing for the
    minimum. But given the fact that Baker led the NFC in net punting in 2005, and
    the fact that he had a $1 million-a-year offer on the table from Carolina,
    Baker thought the Rams were joking. Apparently they weren't.

    "It's one thing if you choose to go a different direction," Baker said. "But
    why fail to offer me a contract, and then try to give me a black eye by putting
    it out there that I wanted too much money, and that it was a money issue. I
    mean, be professional and at least call my agent back and just say we're going
    a different direction."

    The Rams have yet to announce Turk's signing, but two league sources told the
    Post-Dispatch that they were signing him. Rams president of football operations
    Jay Zygmunt could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

    Fisher joins Rams

    Free-agent running back Tony Fisher has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with
    the Rams, according to league sources.

    Fisher, 6-1, 222, went to Green Bay as an undrafted rookie in 2002 out of Notre
    Dame and spent most of his four NFL seasons as the Packers' third-down back.

    For his career, he has 235 carries for 880 yards and four touchdowns and has
    caught 125 passes for 900 yards and five TDs. Last season, Fisher carried 60
    times for a career-low 173 yards, but established career highs in both
    receptions (48) and reception yards (347). He started four games last season,
    sitting out two contests with a rib injury.

    Fisher, 26, blocks and catches well but is not an explosive runner. He's
    considered a very good special teams player. Fisher, who visited Rams Park on
    Thursday, is expected to be the team's No. 3 running back behind Steven Jackson
    and Marshall Faulk.

    Ram-blings

    Minnesota LB Raonall Smith and New Orleans return specialist Michael Lewis also
    paid free-agent visits to Rams Park on Thursday, but it was uncertain if they
    were offered contracts. ... CB Corey Ivy has signed a three-year free-agent
    deal with Baltimore. Ivy finished with 60 tackles, two sacks, an interception
    and two forced fumbles in 2005, his only season with the Rams.


  2. #2
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    ehh, I don't like how they didn't even offer the guy, he obviously wanted to be a Ram!!!! But oh well, what can you do? Hopefully Turk will be good, but I would've definitely signed Baker for the extra 200,000 bucks, but that's just me


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Yuck...yuck....yuck....

    The FO does not even talk to Baker. I see communication and negotiation skills are still missing from the FO.

    Why are we signing another running back? We have a bunch that can run and we don't use them. I hope we got him cheap and they plan to use him on special teams only.

    Cory Ivy is now a Raven.

    :down: :bored: :down:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Utter, to help maybe answer some questions on why.

    1) I am sure Ivy wanted an long term deal. We are pretty deep at corner with Groce, Fisher, Butler, Bartell, Brown and I would bet a draft pick. We have plenty of nickel backs LOL

    2) Turk came VERY cheap, and we don't have a whole lot of money left and still need to make some moves.

    3) As far as depth at running back, Fisher again came very cheap. He can and will play special teams, and will be a great third option. He started in GB when Green went down the last couple of years and did pretty damn good. I would take him over Harris any day.

    Don't kick the front office yet. I like the off season and these are 2 positions that needed warm bodies.

  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Punter blah Punter blah punter blah blah blah

    LOL

  6. #6
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Ivy played with a lot of heart no doubt, but he too small to hang with AZ, WR. Baker needs to stop winning a least we paid for dinner.

  7. #7
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0
    Punter blah Punter blah punter blah blah blah

    LOL
    Yup. .


    Hooah


    Win, Lose or Draw... Rams for Life!
    :football:

  8. #8
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    It sounds like Baker and/or his agent made a demand, and the Rams just thought it was too high to bother responding to. That's what happens when one side in a negotiation overplays its hand.

    Hopefully, Turk is an insurance policy and the Rams will take a punter in the draft.

  9. #9
    tim
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    maybe they didn't make an offer because it sounds like you have a big mouth for a punter.

  10. #10
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    I have the sneaking suspicion that we're gonna end up with Baker and maybe I should go back and look at his stats for the regular season but if the NFC CG is any indication of his abilities, I'd take Turk too.

    That dude had as much to do with putting us in the Super Bowl as Shaun Alexander... and that's not a compliment. Every punt he hit in that game was either short or bounced and spun 15 yard back toward the Panthers. That day was the only day I've ever watched him but I was NOT impressed.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Seattle Seahawks - 2004 & 2005 NFC West Champions

  11. #11
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    guys, in the cap era, you cant have everything you want. on the depth signings, we really need to trust in the front office. no matter how much we think we know as fans, they know more than we do. we have no way of knowing what the other choices were and how much money each of the other guys wanted.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  12. #12
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    No matter what he wanted we should have still made him a contract offer. Maybe he would have bit on it and signed.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Ramsfan16, when two parties are not in the same ballpark, many times in negotiation its a waste of time and effort to make an offer. We also have no way of knowing what actually went on in the meetings when he was at rams park.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    Ramsfan16, when two parties are not in the same ballpark, many times in negotiation its a waste of time and effort to make an offer. We also have no way of knowing what actually went on in the meetings when he was at rams park.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    The Agent said no contract was offered and Jason Baker said none was offered. I still would have wanted us to offer him a contract not sign this crappy punter.
    RamsFan16

  15. #15
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    Re: Punter choice surprises, irks Baker

    It sounds and seems to me that the FO has done an unusually good job for a change.

    In fact I was wondering if it is because they like their new coach more, the FA's market this time round is a lot better than the ones during the last three years or the dorks in the FO do not want be FA's themselves next year.

    Which is it?

    PS It is just a punterLOL
    Socrates: Surf to live! and Live to Surf!

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