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  • Rams sign offensive lineman

    By Kathleen Nelson
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    The Rams beefed up their offensive line by agreeing to terms with tackle Jeff Hatch.

    A third-round pick out of Penn by the Giants in 2002, Hatch missed his entire rookie season after having back surgery. He started the last four games in 2003 but was released on March 22.

    Hatch could see lots of action in the Rams' preseason camp, which opens July 28. Starter Kyle Turley is on the mend after offseason surgery on his back, and All-Pro Orlando Pace has been designated the team's franchise player and has yet to sign a contract. Thus, Hatch should share time with the teams' other tackles - Grant Williams, Andy King and Joel Hoffman.

    In addition, the Rams signed punter Jesse Nicassio to a one-year deal for $230,000. Nicassio is a rookie free agent from Eastern Washington.

    The Rams agreed to terms with two other players:

    Defensive back Nijrell Eason, a free agent who played with the Arizona Cardinals. Eason signed with the Cardinals as a free agent out of Arizona State in 2002 and played in one game on special teams. He spent last season on injured reserve.

    Wide receiver Brian Sump, who played with the Los Angeles Avengers in the Arena League. A 2003 graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, Sump was signed as a rookie free agent by the Chargers but was released in camp last year.

    Another roster addition is guard Peter Heyer, assigned to the Rams as part of the NFL International Development Practice Squad program. A native of Germany, Heyer, 6-3, 310, is a three-year veteran of the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. He will not be eligible to be claimed by another team or promoted to an active roster.

    The Rams also released two rookie free agents, wide receiver Nick Narcisse of Tulane and defensive tackle Jeff Ruffin of Illinois.

    Rams add scout

    Dave Boller has joined the Rams' college scouting department after six years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Boller, 42, also worked as a college scout for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1995 to 1997. Before joining the pro ranks, Boller served as an administrative assistant for football operations at Arizona State University under Larry Marmie, who is now the Rams' defensive coordinator.

    Contract figures

    Tight end Cam Cleeland's one-year contract was for $565,000, which includes a $25,000 roster bonus, according to the NFL Players Association. Free safety Justin Lucas's one year deal was for $540,000.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Rams sign offensive lineman

    Well hope somebody step up although I doubt it


    • #3
      Re: Rams sign offensive lineman

      Originally posted by RamDez
      Hatch could see lots of action in the Rams' preseason camp, which opens July 28. Starter Kyle Turley is on the mend after offseason surgery on his back, and All-Pro Orlando Pace has been designated the team's franchise player and has yet to sign a contract. Thus, Hatch should share time with the teams' other tackles - Grant Williams, Andy King and Joel Hoffman.
      If Pace hasn't signed the tender by then, then I'll be pretty disappointed. His comments to the Post Dispatch were pretty optimistic about a deal getting done, so I would assume Pace would want to sign the tender and get in with the team during the offseason to show he's willing and ready to come to the table and negotiate. The fact that it happens makes me wonder if Pace's comment were nothing but a PR stunt to try and get some heat off his back.


      • #4
        Re: Rams sign offensive lineman

        I hope that there is no correlation between this signing and the status of turley's recovery from back surgery. One way or another Pace will wind up ready to play when the season starts, but if turley's back isnt right, that is very bad news for us. I have no info that tells me turley is anything other than on schedule for return to camp, but i am just concerned as a back injury is a tricky thing and i know he lost a lot of weight.

        ramming speed to all

        general counsel


        Related Topics


        • RamDez
          Rams Inside Slant
          by RamDez
          Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the Rams' offseason came when the team matched an offer made by the Carolina Panthers to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.

          A restricted free agent, Manumaleuna signed an offer sheet worth $8.3 million over five years that included a $2 million signing bonus. After much deliberation and some disagreement from within the Rams' front office, the offer was matched.

          Manumaleuna started for the first time last season following the departure of Ernie Conwell, but didn't play only tight end. He moved around consistently, often playing fullback or H-back. That led to inconsistency and mistakes.

          "When you're jumping here and there, here and there, sometimes it makes it hard," tight ends coach Frank Falks said. "As a human being and a football player, you don't like to say it, but it does."

          Falks knew Manumaleuna was struggling last season and at times confused. He said, "When you're around someone, you know their moods. And I always talk to him, so I could tell something was bothering him."

          The fact the Panthers made the offer they did showed that Manumaleuna has value.

          "They didn't offer him that because his name's Brandon," Falks said. "They did it because he fit what they needed."

          Now, the Rams hope Manumaleuna will fit what they need: solid blocking at the position. Any contributions in the passing offense is gravy.

          Said Manumaleuna, "I'm just trying to get better."


          —The Rams are continuing to tweak their roster in preparation for the start of training camp on July 27. The latest additions are tackle Jeff Hatch, safety Nijrell Eason and wide receiver Brian Sump.

          Hatch was released by the Giants on March 22 after being drafted on the third round (78th overall) in 2002. He missed his entire rookie season because of a back injury, and then started four games last season. Those four games, the final ones of the season, were the only ones in which he played.

          The Rams need depth at tackle in training camp because of the expected absence of Orlando Pace and Kyle Turley's return from offseason back surgery. Grant Williams is the most experienced backup, and coaches want Andy King to work mostly at guard.

          Eason was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Arizona Cardinals in 2001. He was released on Aug. 28 and went to camp the following year with the Steelers. Released by Pittsburgh on Sept. 2, he was added to the Cardinals' roster for the final game of the '02 season and played in that game. Eason injured his shoulder last summer, and spent the entire year on injured reserve. At the start of free agency in March, the Cardinals elected not to tender him as an exclusive rights free agent.

          Sump joined the Chargers...
          -06-14-2004, 10:34 AM
        • RamWraith
          Sehorn making return, Gordon to Miami??
          by RamWraith

          By Jim Thomas
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Sunday, Sep. 05 2004

          On a day largely spent trimming players from their
          roster, the Rams made one
          big addition. Offensive tackle Orlando Pace signed his
          one-year tender as a
          franchise player Sunday evening and is expected to be
          on the practice field
          this afternoon.

          After signing the one-year, $7.02 million contract,
          Pace huddled almost
          immediately with offensive line coach John Matsko,
          trying to get up to speed
          just seven days before the regular-season opener
          against Arizona.

          Seeking a long-term contract, Pace stayed away from
          all team activities for the
          second consecutive offseason, including minicamp and
          training camp in Macomb,
          Ill. This time, he took it one step further - missing
          all four exhibition games
          as well. Last season, he played in the fourth
          preseason game after signing the
          one-year franchise player tender.

          Reached earlier on Sunday, Pace agent Carl Poston
          sounded anything but
          optimistic about Pace's return.

          "I've encouraged him to come in," Poston said. "I've
          instructed him to sign the
          one-year tender. But I can't make the big fellow come
          in. He's frustrated with
          the team."

          But something must have happened to shake loose the
          stalemate during several
          phone conversations over the weekend between Poston
          and Rams president of
          football operations Jay Zygmunt. Pace arrived at Rams
          Park and signed the
          tender at about 6:30 p.m.

          Zygmunt confirmed Sunday evening that Pace had signed
          the contract, but he
          declined further comment.

          Barring any setback on the practice field this week,
          Pace will start at left
          tackle Sunday against the Big Red. After sitting out
          the preseason finale
          against Oakland with a sprained ankle, Chris Dishman
          is expected to start at
          left guard, with Andy McCollum at center, Adam
          Timmerman at right guard and
          Grant Williams at right tackle.

          Because Pace signed after 3 p.m. Sunday, he did not
          count against the team's
          53-man roster. The Rams can ask for a two-week roster
          exemption, or they can
          simply release another player today.

          The Rams released 11 players, and placed two others on
          injured reserve to reach
          Sunday afternoon's league-mandated roster limit of 53
          players. Those moves
          actually left the team at 52 players, but the Rams
          signed free-agent safety
          Zack Bronson, a former San Francisco 49er, to that
          roster spot.

          There were no real surprises on the cut list, compiled
          by the Post-Dispatch...
          -09-06-2004, 06:40 AM
        • RamDez
          Rams sign safety Knight
          by RamDez
          Rams sign safety Knight

          MACOMB, Ill. -- Safety Tom Knight, a six-year veteran who played last season with the Baltimore Ravens, signed a one-year contract with the Rams today.

          Knight, 5-foot-11 and 196 pounds, was a first-round draft pick (ninth overall) out of Iowa by the Arizona Cardinals in 1997. He played five seasons for the Cardinals.

          Knight spent the final three weeks of the 2002 season on the Ravens' roster, then played 10 games last season for Baltimore, starting one.

          For his NFL career, Knight has played in 73 games and started 54. He also has appeared in three postseason games.

          The Rams released running back Adam Matthews, a rookie out of Northern Colorado who signed with the team April 30.

          * * *

          Camp at a Glance

          Injured: TE Cam Cleeland (hamstring), S Rich Coady (back), CB Robert Cromartie (hamstring), G Ryan Schau (back), LB Brandon Spoon (hamstring), OT Kyle Turley (back), C Dave Wohlabaugh (hip).

          Absent: OT Orlando Pace (contract).

          Today's schedule: Practices are scheduled for 8:10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Times are subject to change. For up-to-date practice information, call 1-866-726-7226. Practices are free and open to the public.

          Bits and pieces:

          CB Jerametrius Butler (hamstring), CB Travis Fisher (ankle) and DT Ryan Pickett (illness) were back at practice Monday.

          RB Marshall Faulk sat out the full-pads workout as the Rams bring him along slowly after offseason knee surgery.

          K Dillon Pieffer, an undrafted rookie from Nevada-Las Vegas, became the first camp casualty. He was cut Sunday night.


          "I've got to tell you, it's hard for me to hold my enthusiasm about him. He just has been awesome in every practice." - coach Mike Martz, on quarterback Marc Bulger.

          "That's cool. He wants me to make a play every time." - Rookie DE Anthony Hargrove, on the near-constant harangues he receives from defensive line coach Bill Kollar.

          -08-03-2004, 03:16 PM
        • RamsFan16
          Rams Sign RB Travis Minor
          by RamsFan16
          Steussie is brought back on a one-year deal
          By Jim Thomas

          The Rams checked off another item Tuesday on their free agency "to-do" list, re-signing veteran offensive lineman Todd Steussie to a one-year deal. Contract terms weren't immediately available for Steussie, an unrestricted free agent.

          Steussie, 36, played surprisingly well for the Rams last season. Because of injuries to Andy McCollum and Orlando Pace, he ended up starting 15 games — eight at left guard and seven at left tackle. Steussie returns to St. Louis as the team's third offensive tackle, the top backup behind starters Pace and Alex Barron, while also providing depth at guard.

          "It was a priority for us to make sure we got him back for next season," coach Scott Linehan said. "I think he was able to prove to himself that he was able to play."

          Pace missed one game with a concussion and seven games with a torn left triceps muscle last season. As a rookie in 2005, Barron missed two games with torn ligaments in his left hand. So having a reliable third tackle is a necessity.

          The Rams have also signed backup running back Travis Minor, an unrestricted free agent from the Miami Dolphins, to a one-year deal.

          Banta-Cain to *****

          Linebacker-defensive end Tully Banta-Cain, who visited Rams Park over the weekend, has signed a three-year free-agent contract with the San Francisco ***** for $8.7 million. San Francisco is going almost exclusively to a 3-4 front next season, which is the scheme Banta-Cain played in as a New England Patriot. The Rams run a 4-3 front.

          Playing for the Rams "was tempting," Banta-Cain told Bay Area reporters in a conference call. "But I did want to explore other options, and they do run a 4-3 scheme, which is something I'm not too familiar with, even though I felt like I could play it."

          Curtis files papers

          Wide receiver Kevin Curtis has filed termination papers with the NFL Players Association, officially ending his ties with agent Tom Condon of the CAA Football agency. Unhappy with the free agency process, Curtis decided to fire Condon as his agent.

          Curtis has returned to his Utah home after visits to Minnesota and Detroit. The New York Giants, Philadelphia and Tennessee are all thought to be interested.

          Fisk to retire

          Veteran defensive tackle Jason Fisk plans to retire rather than explore the market as an unrestricted free agent, according to his agent, Josh Wright. Fisk, 34, registered 35 tackles and one forced fumble as a backup nose tackle for the Rams.

          Solid signing, not great but solid.
          -03-07-2007, 09:40 AM
        • RamDez
          Rams Sign G Nütten to One Year Deal
          by RamDez
          Rams Sign G Nütten to One Year Deal
          Tuesday, July 26, 2005

          ST. LOUIS – G Tom Nütten has signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Rams, the team announced today.

          Nütten will be entering his eighth NFL season and sixth with the Rams in 2005. The Western Michigan product played in eight games for the Rams last year, starting six at left guard after sitting out the 2003 season.

          Nütten played for the Rams from 1998-2002 before signing a free agent contract with the New York Jets in 2003 and retiring prior to the start of the regular season. The Rams signed him last year on August 20.

          For his career, Nütten has played in 69 games, starting 63 in the regular season, and has started all nine postseason contests he has appeared in.

          -07-26-2005, 09:59 AM