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Rams talk extension with Little's agent
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Sunday, Oct. 15 2006
The Rams signed linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa to a five-year contract extension
Wednesday, and coach Scott Linehan would like nothing better than to do the
same with defensive end Leonard Little.
"As we talk about keeping guys around, he's one of the guys ... that really is
a glue to this team," Linehan said.
In announcing Tinoisamoa's new contract, Linehan said: "It would make me just
as happy if we could be talking about Leonard being here. And I would think
Leonard will at some point. It's easier said than done. You've got to do these
things one by one."
It could be sooner rather than later. According to team sources, Little's agent
will be in town this week to talk contract with Rams president of football
operations Jay Zygmunt.
As was the case with Tinoisamoa, whose five-year extension is worth nearly $25
million, Little is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after this season. He
remains the only proven pass rusher on the team, accounting for five of the
Rams' nine sacks this season. If unable to reach agreement on a multi-year
extension, the Rams probably would place the franchise tag on Little.
For his part, Little is trying to play down contract talk.
"I don't really think about it because I have to go out there and play," Little
said. "I think my play will speak for itself. If you get caught up in that
contract year stuff, it could affect you on the field."
Linehan calls Little "one of the most underrated defensive ends in all of pro
football." He considers Little one of the handful of defensive players in the
NFL who can "wreck the game" for an opposing team.
The list of prospective 2007 free agents for the Rams also includes cornerback
Travis Fisher, and wide receivers Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald.
While the Rams were slugging out a victory in Green Bay, and getting several
players nicked up in the process, Seattle was resting up during its bye week.
So the Seahawks have had an extra week to prepare for Sunday's key NFC West
"I think it always is an advantage for the team with the bye, as far as
preparation, but you've still got to go out and play and execute," Linehan said.
Then again, Linehan likes the momentum gained by winning three in a row that
the Rams will carry into Sunday.
"Sometimes you don't really want to have a break during that time," Linehan
said. "Regardless of how much time they've prepared, we have to go into this
game and try to do a lot of things off the momentum we have -- the confidence,
whatever it is -- to keep going what we have going."
For what it's worth, coach Mike Holmgren's Seahawks have struggled coming off
their bye week. Since Holmgren joined Seattle in 1999, the Seahawks are 1-6
coming off the bye. The only post-bye victory was last season. One of those
post-bye defeats was the memorable 33-27 overtime loss to the Rams in 2004.
"Cash prizes" nixed
Following the Rams' stellar work on kickoff coverage in the season opener
against Denver, several players talked about an incentive program in which
"cash prizes" would be given to the first player down on kicks. Apparently,
several veteran players anonymously donated money to the kickoff coverage unit.
Turns out such incentives are against the NFL's collective bargaining
agreement. In a memo distributed last month to team players and assistant
coaches, Zygmunt wrote that league policy "prohibits clubs and club employees
from providing bonuses, incentives, gifts, or anything of value to players
other than the consideration stated in the NFL player contracts."
Such restrictions also prohibit players from offering such bonuses or gifts to