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Rams can finally begin talks with Pace
BY STEVE KORTE
Knight Ridder Newspapers
ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - The St. Louis Rams reduced their number of unsigned draft picks to four by reaching a three-year deal with linebacker Brandon Chillar on Friday.
The signing means that Chillar, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA, will take part in the Rams` training camp when it opens July 27 at Western Illinois University in Macomb.
Chillar has some catching up to do after missing the team`s main minicamp in May due to an NFL rule that bans rookies from participating if their senior class has not graduated.
First-round draft pick Steven Jackson, a running back from Oregon State, missed the minicamp for the same reason.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Chillar was an All-Pac 10 Conference selection as a senior last season. He had 133 tackles, two sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a blocked kick.
The Rams are counting on Chillar providing valuable depth behind starters Tommy Polley, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Robert Thomas as well as contributing on special teams.
Other draft picks who remain unsigned include Jackson, third-rounder Anthony Hargrove, sixth-rounder Jeff Smoker and seventh-rounder Erik Jensen.
It`s safe to talk
The Rams can begin negotiating with left tackle Orlando Pace without fear of losing the use of their franchise tag now that the NFL`s unofficial moratorium on signing franchise players has passed.
Any team that signs a franchise player between March 17 and July 14 forfeits the use of their franchise tag for the length of the contract.
Being able to re-open negotiations doesn`t mean that Pace, who missed all of training camp last year before agreeing to the one-year tender as franchise player, and the Rams are close to a deal.
Pace`s agents, Carl and Kevin Poston, have asked for a seven-year deal worth $71 million that includes a $27 million signing bonus.
The Rams have offered a deal with a $13 million signing bonus, but they reportedly are willing to up the ante by increasing the bonus to $16 million or $17 million.
Three of the five currently unsigned franchise players - Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson, San Francisco linebacker Julian Peterson and Pace - are represented by the Poston brothers.
Bulger, Holt answer challenge
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is among the nine NFL quarterbacks competing in the Quarterback Challenge that will air on CBS Sports (Channel 4 locally) from 4-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-2 p.m. Sunday.
The contestants go head-to-head in four events - accuracy, speed and mobility, distance and no-huddle.
The Rams' Torry Holt will be among the wide receivers taking part in the "no huddle" competition.
Other quarterbacks in the challenge include Kansas City`s Trent Green, Washington`s Mark Brunell, Arizona`s Josh McCown, Carolina`s Jake Delhomme, Cincinnati`s Carson Palmer, Detroit`s Joey Harrington, Jacksonville`s Byron Leftwich and Seattle`s Matt Hasselbeck.
-07-18-2004 #2JellyOpal Guest
Re: Rams can finally begin talks with Pace
Pace is holding out...AGAIN!? GRRRRRRRRRRRAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! That boy just lost favor with me. I'd just as soon he didn't show up at camp, I won't be able to hold my tongue, I just know it!
Re: Rams can finally begin talks with PaceThree of the five currently unsigned franchise players - Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson, San Francisco linebacker Julian Peterson and Pace - are represented by the Poston brothers.
The quicker the NFL is rid of the Postons, the better the league will be.
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