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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Rams in no rush on contract ..

    ms in no rush on contract

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/19/2010

    No contract for No. 1? It has given sports talk radio something to talk about and provided fodder for the cable television and Internet "experts."

    But one of the biggest non-stories surrounding the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft has been contract negotiations or lack thereof. It's really not an issue for the Rams whether the No. 1 pick is signed before the draft.

    Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations, said it at the NFL owners meetings last month. And he said it again Sunday:

    "I don't think it's important to have the first pick signed before the draft," Demoff told the Post-Dispatch on Sunday. "That doesn't mean it's not worth trying. And it doesn't mean we haven't talked to people all four candidates about the numbers they would want as the first pick. But it's not a priority for us to have the deal done before the draft.

    "There's still three months essentially before the start of training camp to get a person under contract. We want to make sure we spend our time, and make the right deal for the Rams and a fair deal for the player."

    When Demoff made reference to the "four candidates," he was talking about the players identified by general manager Billy Devaney at the NFL scouting combine as "finalists" for the No. 1 overall pick. Namely, quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, quarterback Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma.

    "There's a misconception out there that we're just twiddling our thumbs, waiting for the pick (on Thursday)," Demoff said. "But we've done our homework. We talked to these guys at the combine. We've talked to them all again since the combine.

    "So I have a sense of where all the numbers would come in and what everybody's asking for. So it's not as if we haven't given this any thought. We're doing the proper due diligence before the draft. We'll know when we take someone kind of what their (contract) expectations are."

    Interestingly, Demoff revealed Sunday that the Rams also have had very preliminary discussions with the agents for Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung and Tennessee safety Eric Berry about the potential of talking contract as the No. 1 overall pick. Likely? Certainly not.

    "Just in case," Demoff said. "We've covered our bases."

    There are several reasons the Rams haven't seemed to be in a hurry to get a contract done:

    In his short tenure with the Rams, Devaney has shown himself to be thoughtful and deliberate about making the Rams' first-round pick. Why rush the process?

    If Devaney truly is entertaining trade-down possibilities with the No. 1 pick, as seems to be the case, it doesn't make sense to have a deal done before the draft.

    From an economic standpoint, it makes no difference who's the next owner of the Rams Stan Kroenke or Shahid Khan. (Or even if Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez are owners for a while longer.) The money's already budgeted.

    Even so, if the new owners were in place they might want input on the intricacies of the deal. So there was a time when it made sense to wait on the ownership situation to sort itself out. But that course of action may no longer be practical since Kroenke exercised matching rights on Khan's purchase bid, a move that could delay the sale process several months.

    It's extremely doubtful a new collective bargaining agreement will be reached anytime soon. But what if there were progress in the next month or two? Any information on the shape and scope of a new agreement might affect how a deal is done.

    "This player, whoever we take, is going to be the highest paid player in Rams history," Demoff said. "Wouldn't you want to know the most you could about the future economics of the CBA before you sign that deal? It would be good for both sides."

    But again, Demoff stressed that the organization isn't sitting around waiting for a new bargaining agreement, a new owner, or a new anything.

    "If we got a deal we couldn't refuse before the draft, sure we'd do it," Demoff said.

    When all is said and done, Bradford remains the heavy favorite to be the No. 1 overall selection. Following his private workout Friday for the Rams in Norman, Okla., Bradford told the Post-Dispatch that having a contract before the draft was a non-issue for him.

    "To be honest, I'm not worried about that at all," he said.

    Demoff said: "I had lunch with Bradford's (agents) last week, we kicked around ideas for the first pick. They've never explicitly said that they don't want to do a deal before the draft. ... But they haven't shown any urgency, just like we haven't shown any urgency, to get it done before the draft."

    As an executive with Tampa Bay, and even in his short time with the Rams, Demoff has enjoyed a good working relationships with agents Tom Condon and Ben Dogra of CAA. And neither agent has a history of holdouts with high draft picks.

    "I'm optimistic based on our good relationships (with CAA) and their prior (track record) with getting guys in on time that this year's pick will be in training camp on time," Demoff said. "There is no reason to believe that won't be the case."


  2. #2
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Memo to every Ram front office type (since none of you were around back then). Our last #1 overall, Orlando Pace, missed his entire rookie training camp due to a contract holdout. Fortunately he's an OT and wasn't too damaged by the time away. Unfortunately Sam Bradford isn't. Whatever numbers you have gotten now will become pure fiction post draft unless you sign a contract.

    PS: Team Consultant John Shaw's on the CBA negotiating team. I'm sure if you ask nicely he will fill you in on intel about the current proceedings.

    PPS: When in doubt, prepare for the worst. Things, as a rule, haven't broken this organization's way since the middle of the decade.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    The fact that we're not hearing much about the Rams trying to sign Sam or Suh may indicate that the team is concentrating their efforts to trade out of the top pick. Pre-draft negotiations favor the team vis-a-vis contract negotiations; a lack of negotiations favors the team vis-a-vis other teams.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Why give the girl an engagement ring if you're still playing the field?

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Peoria I hope you remembered our bet....I want mah money.....

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Memo to every Ram front office type (since none of you were around back then). Our last #1 overall, Orlando Pace, missed his entire rookie training camp due to a contract holdout. Fortunately he's an OT and wasn't too damaged by the time away. Unfortunately Sam Bradford isn't. Whatever numbers you have gotten now will become pure fiction post draft unless you sign a contract.

    PS: Team Consultant John Shaw's on the CBA negotiating team. I'm sure if you ask nicely he will fill you in on intel about the current proceedings.

    PPS: When in doubt, prepare for the worst. Things, as a rule, haven't broken this organization's way since the middle of the decade.

    I'm sure they understand that a rookie QB benefits the most from being in camp on time. I'm sure they also understand that they have nearly three months before the start of said camp to negotiate a contract with whomever we end up with. Now is not the time to panic.

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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    I'm sure they understand that a rookie QB benefits the most from being in camp on time. I'm sure they also understand that they have nearly three months before the start of said camp to negotiate a contract with whomever we end up with. Now is not the time to panic.
    But he doesn't. We're more likely to play him if he gets a full training camp. That does not benefit him in terms of staying healthy and upright.

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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    But he doesn't. We're more likely to play him if he gets a full training camp. That does not benefit him in terms of staying healthy and upright.
    So your argument is to not get him into training camp on time because it increases his chances of playing in the regular season, leading to a risk in injury??

    With that logic, why draft anyone at all? They're just going to risk getting hurt by playing this contact sport.

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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    I have no problem with Bradford not being signed before the draft but it would be nice.

    I'm curious...if Devaney is already set on trading out of the #1 spot with Cleveland, does he have to wait until draft day to do that or can we trade out of the pick whenever we want?


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  10. #10
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6 View Post
    I have no problem with Bradford not being signed before the draft but it would be nice.

    I'm curious...if Devaney is already set on trading out of the #1 spot with Cleveland, does he have to wait until draft day to do that or can we trade out of the pick whenever we want?
    I believe it's just like any other trade in that you can trade the rights to it at any time, much like the other picks that have been traded so far.

  11. #11
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by shower beers View Post
    So your argument is to not get him into training camp on time because it increases his chances of playing in the regular season, leading to a risk in injury??

    With that logic, why draft anyone at all? They're just going to risk getting hurt by playing this contact sport.
    This is a team that got 4 QBs knocked out of games due to injury last season and hasn't upgraded the protection since. That nice, safe bench looks mighty good until that protection gets upgraded.

  12. #12
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by PeoriaRam View Post
    Memo to every Ram front office type (since none of you were around back then). Our last #1 overall, Orlando Pace, missed his entire rookie training camp due to a contract holdout.
    Hey now, I was around back then, just not on this message board. Pace also struggled with discipline, and I think his play really suffered that first year because of the missed training camp. I remember when we drafted Barron he said his #1 piece of advice was to get in camp your rookie year, and that he wished he had realized that before holding out. That of course has no bearing on this year. I just wanted to point out you weren't the only one watching back then

  13. #13
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    If the Ram's thought they could sign the number one player on their board prior to Draft Day, of course they would do it. The NFL does not really like having their Draft coverage de-valued by pre-draft signings, but any team that says they are not interested in signing their #1 ASAP is lying.
    A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    I think it's going to be interesting to see how long it takes not just for the Rams to sign their first round pick but I wouldn't be surprised if every NFL team takes their time signing their rookies this year.

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    Re: Rams in no rush on contract ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post

    "This player, whoever we take, is going to be the highest paid player in Rams history," Demoff said.

    Hmm. Highest paid player. Might be just me, but this portrays our likeliness to draft Bradford. A QB as the highest paid player in franchise history sounds logical. Defensive tackle on the other hand, doesn't.

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