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Thread: Smith Signs, Ready to Work
Smith Signs, Ready to Work
Smith Signs, Ready to Work
Thursday, July 30, 2009
By Nick Wagoner
Jason Smith isn’t the type of person to worry about things outside of his direct. That’s why when it came time to strike a deal on a contract with the Rams, Smith left all of the off the field work to his agents.
And so it was that the Rams and Smith found their common ground late Thursday afternoon and agreed to the contract that will have Smith on the practice field when the team begins its first full squad workout on Friday afternoon.
“Obviously things have to be done in order for me to be here,” Smith said. “Things I can control, I control. Things I can’t control, I don’t worry about.”
Throughout the process of waiting for his initial, lucrative NFL contract, Smith never wavered in his faith that the contract would be completed in time for him to join the rest of the team for the first full squad practice.
Smith stayed out of the negotiations and left the work to his agents, Ben Dogra and Tom Condon, and Rams Vice President of Football Operations/Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff.
When the rest of the rookie class stepped on the field for a pair of short workouts on Thursday afternoon, Smith was not with them. But he wasn’t far away.
Smith remained calm even as his teammates and fellow rookies went through the paces.
“We hire agents when we leave college and if you hire good ones that have a history of doing things the right way, what is there to worry about?” Smith said. “At the end of the day, I am the one that asked them to do this for me. A lot of this is about trust. If I am doing what I can do, what more is there to worry about?”
After the two sides reached an accord, Smith went to the Russell Training Center and promptly put pen to paper, making his status as an NFL player official.
For Smith, it’s been a long time in the making but he was more excited about what awaits tomorrow than what happened today. There will be no celebrating for Smith in the immediate aftermath of signing his contract.
“I have got practice tomorrow and that’s pretty much all I am thinking about,” Smith said. “At the end of the day there is a time and place for everything. Right now I only have time to say ‘What can I do to help my team be better tomorrow?’”
Smith left the Russell Training Center after signing the contract and immediately reported to the team hotel in time for dinner and a team meeting.
Smith’s timely arrival is perhaps made more important by the fact that he is expected to immediately compete for a starting job at one of the tackle positions.
“Football is a very competitive sport and at the end of the day, it’s all about competition and that’s why I play this game,” Smith said.
Smith spent most of the offseason program working at right tackle but he also got some work on the left side.
Smith's signing completes the Rams draft class and means everyone will be in the full squad portion of camp on time.
"I have to give a lot of credit to Kevin (Demoff)," General Manager Billy Devaney said. "He said he would make this happen all along and he did it."
While Smith will wake up on Friday morning a millionaire for the first time in his life, you could hardly tell it from how focused he remained on all things football after signing his contract.
“I am excited to be here,” Smith said. “It’s all about the football (now). That’s kind of how I wake up. That’s kind of how it is. I’m just happy to say that I’m a football player.”
As he cracked a wry smile, Smith walked into a meeting room at the team hotel and had his picture taken for the first official time as a Ram.
Re: Smith Signs, Ready to Work
Great to have you on board big guy. Now go maul some defensive ends for me, would ya?!
Re: Smith Signs, Ready to Work“I have got practice tomorrow and that’s pretty much all I am thinking about,” Smith said. “At the end of the day there is a time and place for everything. Right now I only have time to say ‘What can I do to help my team be better tomorrow?"'
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