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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams may cut Bruce

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    03/05/2006

    THE RAMS' OFFER

    $9 million over the next three years

    Are Isaac Bruce's days numbered with the Rams?

    What once seemed unthinkable suddenly seems possible. According to league sources, a contract impasse between Bruce and the Rams has reached the point where the club might release Bruce rather than carry his $10 million salary cap figure into the 2006 season.

    Barring another delay in the start of what's called the "league year" - that is, the free agency and trading period - that could happen as early as Sunday. As things stand, Bruce is due a $1.5 million roster bonus Monday. Rather than pay that bonus Monday, the club is considering releasing Bruce in the absence of a new contract.

    Bruce quietly agreed to contract renegotiations a couple of times in the past, most recently in 2002. But on those occasions, the Rams merely shifted money around to create immediate cap relief. This time, the team is asking him to take a significant pay cut.

    The team is offering Bruce $9 million over three years, including $5 million this season in the form of roster bonus and signing bonus, according to league sources.

    But without an extension, Bruce is due $8.1 million alone in 2006 under his current contract - the last year of a seven- year deal signed in 2000. That $8.1 million breaks down as follows: the $1.5 million roster bonus; $6.5 million in base salary; and a $100,000 offseason workout bonus.

    So Bruce would make $3.1 million less this season under the extension. And in essence, he would be playing the entire three years of the Rams' proposal for only $900,000 more than he's scheduled to make this year alone under the old contract. (The $8.1 million in '06 compared to the $9 million, three-year proposal.)

    Since the Rams moved to St. Louis from southern California in 1995, Bruce has been the face of the franchise. He has been dubbed the original "St. Louis" Ram, because he's the only player to have been with the team all 11 seasons in St. Louis.

    Bruce played his rookie season of 1994 with the Los Angeles Rams, and then moved with the franchise to St. Louis in 1995. He was the team's only marquee player in its early years in St. Louis, and its first Pro Bowl selection. He caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the Rams' Super Bowl XXXIV victory over Tennessee.

    Those close to Bruce say he would be willing to take a pay cut if the team was in a bad cap position. But the Rams are believed to be more than $10 million under the current projected cap of $94.5 million, even after making tender offers to several restricted free agents late last week.

    At face value, the restructuring is similar to what the Rams did a year ago with Marshall Faulk, with Faulk taking a paycut from $6 million to $4 million in terms of money received in 2005. But Faulk's production had dipped annually since the Rams' 2001 Super Bowl season (the loss to New England), and he knew entering the 2005 season that his role would be greatly reduced behind Steven Jackson.

    There has been no indication that Bruce will have a reduced role in St. Louis next season. Nine days ago at the NFL Scouting Combine, coach Scott Linehan said: "He still has a lot of juice. You watch him, even before he hurt his toe (last) year, he still runs every bit as good in my opinion as he ever did. He's got a couple really good years left in him."

    Prior to missing five games with a toe injury last season, Bruce's production had been as good as ever. In 2004, he caught 89 passes - the second-highest total of his career, and his 1,292 receiving yards was his highest season total since 2000.

    Bruce could not be reached for comment Saturday. Bruce's agent, Jimmy Sexton, said: "I know that Isaac really wants to finish his career as a Ram. Hopefully, something can be worked out."

    The Rams normally don't discuss ongoing negotiations, and when reached Saturday, president of football operations Jay Zygmunt declined comment.


  2. #2
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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    I REALLY hope we can get something worked out. This is article is not what I wanted to wake up to...

  3. #3
    CanadianRam! Guest

    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    well so much for we have resigned bruce threads...hopefully it wont get to the point of the rams releasing bruce, because it will be very painful to see issac in another uniform.

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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    this is one of those things where I really gotta see it to believe it, I really don't like what I'm hearin though, I hope this is just a load of crap


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  5. #5
    MSRamman Guest

    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    I really hate to hear this... Bruce has always been one of my faves as a RAM. In the few games I have been to in the last 3 years, he has seemed to me to be the ONLY Ram with fire and intensity. I remember vividly the Atlanta game, Sept. o4, most of the Rams seemed blase about the game, but after every big play, every catch, he was up and down the Falcons sidelines, in their face, talking crap and letting them know they weren't going to stop him. I loved that spirit, and I'd hate to see us lose that fire, along with the veteran leadership he shows to the younger receivers. Holt is a natural talent, but I'd venture to say that without the benefit of Ike's experience and tutelage, he might have taken another year or so to develop into the big play threat he is today.
    So here's the question: for all his experience, talent, fire and game, if an agreement can't be reached between he and the team on a suitable contract arrangement, is it worth the bonus and salary he's due this year to keep and pay him at the expense of the other obvious needs we have? I'm a sentimental type of guy, so this would be an extremely difficult decision for me, even in a business environment. Any thoughts?

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    I love Ike and he always will be one of my favorite to wear the horns, but I need to think of the entire team. His salary un-restructured eats up way to much money in my book. And in all honesty the future just might be in the here and now with Curtis, Holt and McDonald.

    I have to ask myself. How would I feel about losing Curtis to keep Bruce?

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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    Screw Curtis at this point, you MUST keep Bruce, Linehan and hopefully the front office and all that know this by now, I think Bruce will stay though, I really doubt that he'll be cut, he's one of if not the best player on the roster, definitely the best receiver we got...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    I do not believe you are thinking of the future of this team. Bruce will be eating up huge numbers over the next couple of years. We paid him a HUGE salary last year in hopes to would consider staying and restructuring this. You gotta think with your head on this on not your heart. Bruce must stay, but only the right price.



    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6
    Screw Curtis at this point, you MUST keep Bruce, Linehan and hopefully the front office and all that know this by now, I think Bruce will stay though, I really doubt that he'll be cut, he's one of if not the best player on the roster, definitely the best receiver we got...

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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    HOLY CRAP what the hell, just turned the PC on and I read this.....Com On Bruce please sign up!!!


    steve:clanram:
    "The breakfast Club"

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    I've been concerned about this since the start of the offseason. That cap figure is huge, and like it or not, we do have a lot of depth at receiver. The money freed up by Isaac (one way or another) could go toward making a bigger splash in free agency.

    However, can we say lowball? How do you expect a guy to agree to a contract that pays him as much over three years as his current contract is giving him in one? Rams need to step it up and work something out that's reasonable to Isaac.

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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    Well, I think until he retires, he will always be an amazing wide receiver, he'll always have fuel in him. He's just that type of person, he never gives up and has always been amazing at what he does. I think if he's still here in 3 years, he'll still be a Star Wide Receiver, he's needed now, and for a good future..


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    I've been concerned about this since the start of the offseason. That cap figure is huge, and like it or not, we do have a lot of depth at receiver. The money freed up by Isaac (one way or another) could go toward making a bigger splash in free agency.

    However, can we say lowball? How do you expect a guy to agree to a contract that pays him as much over three years as his current contract is giving him in one? Rams need to step it up and work something out that's reasonable to Isaac.
    Good point Nick. Hopefully this whole situation is resolved in a manner that's beneficial to both Isaac and the team.

  13. #13
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    Wel I guess it would be Ike's problem for being so ignorant for not taking a cut for this team. I'm not really worried about it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    good point nick, Bruce deserves more, I know I wouldn't accept that deal......

    steve:clanram:
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  15. #15
    Rip32 Guest

    Re: Rams may cut Bruce

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6
    definitely the best receiver we got...
    Torry Holt holds that honor

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