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Rams wide receiver finally has an agent
ST. LOUIS - Kevin Curtis says he'll let his agent worry about a contract for next season. Until a few days ago, that's a phrase the St. Louis Rams' No. 3 wide receiver couldn't utter.
Curtis, who can become an unrestricted free agent, dumped his agent before the season and played the entire schedule without representation.
The speedy Curtis is probably the highest-profile Rams player due to hit the market after catching 40 passes for a 12-yard average and four touchdowns. He parted ways with Gary Wichard at the start of the season and just hired Kansas City-based Tom Condon, so during the schedule the Rams would have had to deal with him man-to-man.
"I didn't plan on not having an agent all season, but my biggest focus was just on playing football every Sunday and I didn't want to be distracted," Curtis said. "It came down to the fact that it was way too stressful."
Curtis picked Condon around the same time the Rams (8-8) wound up with a 41-21 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. He felt Wichard had not kept him in the loop.
"I'm grateful for everything he did and I thought he was a good agent," Curtis said. "We just had a communication problem, and I just didn't feel comfortable talking with him about a new deal.
"I just felt like I never knew what was going on and I didn't like that feeling."
Offensive lineman Todd Steussie also is a free agent, although not so much by choice. He started 15 games at guard and tackle, revitalizing his career, but can't re-sign with St. Louis until free agency begins because the team signed him to a cut-rate deal.
Steussie must re-enter free agency because the NFL doesn't want teams to try to hide veterans and re-sign them to the type of contract that carries the same salary cap number as that of a rookie. Punter Matt Turk is in the same situation after wrapping up his first year with St. Louis.
Steussie, 36, is a 13-year veteran who's been to two Pro Bowls. His career had seemed on the wane until he landed with the Rams and took advantage of injuries to tackle Orlando Pace and center Andy McCollum with solid play.
"I've changed the perception of what I can do," Steussie said. "I've always had the confidence in myself that I could play."
Steussie traces his perceived decline to a failed position switch in Tampa Bay, where he struggled in a move to right tackle.
"It was an experiment that kind of failed, and from that I think maybe people came to the conclusion that I couldn't play anymore," Steussie said. "After a year and a half in a reserve role, perception becomes reality and people assume that the best I can do is be a backup."
Steussie wouldn't mind staying with the Rams, who down the stretch auditioned rookie guard Mark Setterstrom and center Brett Romberg, who began the year on the Jaguars' practice squad. Those two could fit in with tackles Alex Barron and Pace, recovering from a biceps injury, along with guard Richie Incognito.
Steussie told coach Scott Linehan he owed it to himself to test free agency.
"Since I'm waiting anyway I might as well see what's out there," Steussie said. "I appreciate everything this team's done for me and by no means am I ruling out coming back here, but I think I owe myself at least the obligatory look and see what's out there."
Linehan said the coaching staff will take the next few weeks to evaluate Rams personnel before taking some time off.
"That's what this month's for," Linehan said. "We have guys whose contracts are up, and it's easier said than done to say if you want a guy back."
Re: Rams wide receiver finally has an agent
They need to find a way to retain Curtis. What will happen next season if Holt or Bruce go down? We need a vet WR as a #3, and I'm sure he would see more playing time next year. I hope a deal can get done.JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey
Re: Rams wide receiver finally has an agent
Seriously, I'd like to keep Curtis as much as anyone. But, I think the price will be too high. If we can't keep him, we'll need to address that in FA or the draft. I'm not sure McDonald is back and as much as I like Looker as a possession receiver, I think we'll still need to add a no. 3 receiver with some speed and hopefully some height."...and a great new warrior emerged from the many, to carry the torch, and his name was Rammin' Jackson...and a new era had begun! Bring on the battles to come, he screamed!"