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  1. #1
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    07/31/2009


    To say that Jason Smith was eager to start his first NFL training camp would be understatement.

    "Jason really wanted to get on the practice field," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations. "He spent most of the day circling the Russell Training Center." (aka Rams Park.)

    Demoff and Smith's agent, Ben Dogra, agreed to terms on a deal at about 1 in the morning Thursday.

    "Literally, we had Jason on call from as early as 6 in the morning," Dogra said.

    But first-round contracts, particularly for No. 2 overall picks, aren't simple matters. There were many "I's" to dot and "T's" to cross. It wasn't until about 3 p.m., or just before the end of the Rams' Thursday afternoon practice, that the deal was done.

    Smith signed after practice, in plenty of time to make it to the team hotel for the first squad meeting of camp. Those at the meeting said Smith couldn't stop grinning. Understandable, since his five-year deal can max out at just under $62 million if certain incentives are met. Smith gets $33 million in guaranteed money.

    But beyond the money, the offensive tackle from Baylor just wanted to get going.

    "Jason Smith's a football player," Dogra said. "He really wanted to be here on time. The Rams are trying to build something with these new group of guys, and he wants to be a part of that."

    Smith missed two practices Thursday, but those sessions lasted little more than one hour apiece and included only rookies and selected veterans less than half of the 80-man camp roster. Since the first full-squad practice doesn't take place until this afternoon, the Rams can claim with an asterisk that all of their players are in camp on time in 2009.

    "It's always nice when you can tell your head coach and general manager that the No. 1 pick is going to be in on time," Demoff said. "You should have seen the smile on their faces (Thursday) morning."

    Missing a day or two of practice won't make or break a rookie. But the learning curve is steep in the NFL for newcomers, and if you fall too far behind it's tough to catch up. That's particularly true for Smith, since he's expected to be the starting right tackle on opening day.

    "There are so many factors when you're selecting a player," general manager Billy Devaney said. "But sign-ability we talk about that."

    Devaney said he never takes a player off the draft board because he may be tough to sign.

    "But at the end of the day, if you have three or four guys (rated the same) ... that can be the tiebreaker, and put it over the top on the guy you select," Devaney said.

    As they went through the pre-draft process, the Rams could tell that Smith was serious about football. And Demoff has a good rapport with Dogra and the rest of the St. Louis-based CAA Football agency.

    "Jason really drove the deal," Demoff said. "And these are good agents to deal with."

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    Awesome, everyone's in camp and there was hardly a hold out among them! Looks like the whiners have a big one on their hands, I love it!

  3. #3
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    Re: Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    Geez. A real sacrafice. Musta been tough.
    Let the hype begin.

  4. #4
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    Re: Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    We really need to get a rookie salary system in place...these contracts are spiraling out of control.

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    Re: Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Milan View Post
    We really need to get a rookie salary system in place...these contracts are spiraling out of control.
    Agreed. I saw something the other day when DHB signed, he will be making a million more per year on average then the recently extended Greg Jennings. Something's not right about that.


    Glad to see Smith signed though, and to hear about his attitude in getting signed. Seriously, circling around the camp, coming as close as he was allowed to before signing. You gotta love that.

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    Also ironic that Andre Smith, who was gassing earlier this month about not holding out, is still unsigned even though he is sandwiched between Sanchez and DHB.

    Let's all send our stubborn, greedy, self-absorbed thoughts to the Wells/Curry/Crabtree camps to turn this nice but largely so far symbolic victory for our new FO into a real advantage in the NFCW.Especially Curry. The more lost he looks in WK 1, the better.

    A little schadenfreude is fun.

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    Re: Smith inks $62 million contract with Rams

    Since Curry's playing the Sam backer for Seattle, that probably means that he'll be going against Smith, provided that Smith plays right tackle. I can't wait to watch that game and see just how much of a killer instinct Jason has against his first round compatriot.

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