St. Louis Rams start 'pro day' tour

March 9, 2010 - Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy runs a drill during pro day at the University of Oklahoma. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)BY JIM THOMAS
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/10/2010



Coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney were on the road Tuesday for the first of what figures to be several pro day appearances. First stop, Norman, Okla., for a look at defensive tackle Gerald McCoy at the University of Oklahoma.

McCoy measured in Tuesday at 6-4, 298 pounds. He took part in individual drills but did not participate in any timed events. McCoy's drills were run by Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks.

Spagnuolo said via text message that McCoy's workout was "great, as expected."

Spagnuolo and Devaney did more than watch McCoy go through the paces. They had breakfast with McCoy before his workout. It was unclear Tuesday if the Rams will set up their own private workout with McCoy, but league sources say the Rams do plan to have McCoy at Rams Park in April during the "top 30" visit period. ShopSTL Marketplace

Vein Specialties

Teams are allowed to bring up to 30 draft prospects in for visits in April. The players meet with team officials during these visits but aren't allowed to work out.

McCoy's was the first of the big four workouts the Rams will be attending. Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has his pro day Thursday in Lincoln, Neb. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will have his own private workout March 25 in Norman. Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen has his pro day April 9 in South Bend, Ind.

On the free agency front, tight end Daniel Fells made a trip to New England on Monday and the Patriots are trying to sign him. There were reports Tuesday morning that the Patriots were close to signing Fells, but the Rams made a strong push later in the day and got back in the picture. In fact, one league source told the Post-Dispatch that Fells was now leaning toward returning to St. Louis and could have a decision today.

If Fells departs, the Rams would be left with only Billy Bajema under contract at tight end. Derek Fine was released over the weekend and free agent Randy McMichael isn't expected back.

Safety Brodney Pool of the Cleveland Browns wrapped up his free-agent visit to Rams Park but left without a contract. Apparently, it was more of a "look-see" visit for the Rams to check on Pool's health. He missed the last five games of the 2009 season with a concussion.

Meanwhile, the official contract numbers are in for safety Craig Dahl, quarterback A.J. Feeley and defensive tackle Fred Robbins.

Dahl was re-signed for $3.6 million over three years. He gets a $755,000 roster bonus this season, plus base salaries of $545,000 this year, $1.1 million in 2011 and $1.2 million in 2012. There are escalator clauses in the contract that can increase Dahl's pay in '11 and '12, and the 2012 year is voidable.

Feeley's deal is worth $6 million over two years and includes roster bonuses of $2.25 million this year and $500,000 in 2011. There is also an escalator clause that can increase Feeley's pay in '11. His base salaries are $1 million this year and $2.25 million in '11.

Robbins' three-year deal is worth $11.25 million. He gets base salaries of $855,000 in 2010, $3.25 million in '11 and $3.75 million in '12. Robbins gets a $3.395 million roster bonus this year. There are escalators that can increase Robbins' pay in '11 and '12, as well as $250,000 of additional incentives that can be earned in '12.

It's noteworthy that all three contracts include roster bonuses instead of the traditional signing bonuses. Under a salary cap system, roster bonuses count entirely against that year's cap. Signing bonuses are spread out over the length of the contract for cap purposes. So if the NFL returns to a salary cap in 2011 and beyond, signing Dahl, Feeley and Robbins to roster bonuses will free up additional cap space in '11 and beyond.