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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Wide receiver Bennett gets six-year contract

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    03/04/2007


    Drew Bennett wasn't recruited out of high school, walking on at UCLA. Neither was he recruited out of college, signing with the Tennessee Titans in 2001 as an undrafted free agent.

    Six NFL seasons later, things have changed. Big time. Bennett found a limo waiting for him Friday when he arrived at Lambert Field. He had dinner at Morton's, and then spent the night at the Ritz-Carlton.

    "This is kind of my first tour of 'Let's see what's out there, meeting other teams, and getting pampered a little bit,'" he said.

    On Saturday, the Rams put Bennett on "scholarship." And it's a full ride. Bennett, a free-agent wide receiver, signed a six-year, $30 million contract with the Rams. Of that total, $10 million is guaranteed, including a $7.5 million signing bonus.



    Bennett, arguably the best wide receiver in this year's free-agent class, joins a receiving group that already includes Pro Bowlers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

    "This is just a great addition to our (receiving) corps," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "He's versatile, but you start with his size."

    At 6-feet-5, 206 pounds, Bennett is the biggest wide receiver to play for the Rams since the move to St. Louis in 1995.

    "You don't coach that kind of size," Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. "He just gives us a little different dimension. Isaac's been very productive at his (smaller) body type. And Torry's kind of in-between. And now we've got this big guy that should help us down in the red zone.

    "He did a lot for (Tennessee) in terms of crossing routes, and a lot of those routes over the middle. He's big enough where he doesn't fear going over the middle. Not that Kevin (Curtis) feared that. But it's just hard for a smaller body-type of receiver to be real courageous and real productive in there."

    Bennett also was a productive blocker in the running game.

    The Rams decided to move quickly on Bennett when it became increasingly evident that Curtis a Rams free agent would sign elsewhere. Curtis visited Minnesota on Friday, and headed to Detroit for a visit Saturday.

    "That's the tough part of the business," Linehan said. "You aren't going to meet a better person than Kevin. But you can't be caught without another option. We felt we had to move quickly."

    In six seasons with the Titans, Bennett caught 273 passes for 4,033 yards and 25 TDs. Over the past three seasons, he averaged 61 catches for 907 yards. Although not known as a burner, Bennett has a knack for getting down field, as evidenced by his career average of 14.8 yards per catch.

    Although he has been in the league two years longer than Curtis, Bennett age 28 is one month younger than Curtis. (Curtis' entry into the NFL was delayed for two years by a Mormon mission while in college.)

    Bennett will start off as the Rams' slot receiver, while also backing up Bruce at flanker. In Tennessee, Bennett played flanker, split end and the slot, so his versatility is a plus.

    "He'll come in, be that third-down guy, and eventually maybe be the heir apparent to Isaac when Isaac moves on," Olson said.

    Bennett could have gone elsewhere and caught more passes than he probably will in St. Louis next season. San Francisco, for example, was thought to be very interested in signing him. But Bennett felt St. Louis was a great fit.

    Bennett's agent, Gary Uberstine, also represents Rams running back Steven Jackson. Uberstine and Jackson were able to give Bennett some insight on the Rams. Bennett also spent time with quarterback Marc Bulger on Friday, at Rams Park and later at dinner.

    "It was hard to pass up this situation," Bennett said. "I know there's two very prominent receivers here, but there's plenty of balls to go around. There's plenty of offense. I don't think there's a better guy to play with than Marc Bulger. ... I watched Steven Jackson last year, and I think this team is definitely on the 'up.'"

    Free-agent Tully Banta-Cain, a linebacker-defensive end from New England, also visited the Rams over the weekend. The team made him a contract offer, but Banta-Cain chose to shop the market. Another Rams wide receiver, free agent Shaun McDonald, has scheduled a trip Monday to Detroit, where former Rams head coach Mike Martz is offensive coordinator.


  2. #2
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Wide receiver Bennett gets six-year contract

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Shaun McDonald, has scheduled a trip Monday to Detroit, where former Rams head coach Mike Martz is offensive coordinator.
    Oh really?

    Haven't heard that one everytime there's an article about the Rams :P


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Wide receiver Bennett gets six-year contract

    Although he has been in the league two years longer than Curtis, Bennett age 28 is one month younger than Curtis. (Curtis' entry into the NFL was delayed for two years by a Mormon mission while in college.)
    Should be noted.

    Bennett's agent, Gary Uberstine, also represents Rams running back Steven Jackson. Uberstine and Jackson were able to give Bennett some insight on the Rams. Bennett also spent time with quarterback Marc Bulger on Friday, at Rams Park and later at dinner.
    I love to hear this.
    Last edited by Rambos; -03-04-2007 at 12:02 PM.

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