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  • Rams, Pace can resume talks

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    07/14/2004

    With the start of training camp less than two weeks away, a key piece of the Rams' puzzle still is missing. But the status of All-Pro left tackle Orlando Pace, who has been designated the team's franchise player for the second year in a row, could be tidied up soon.

    Beginning today, the team can resume contract negotiations with Pace, whose agent is Houston-based Carl Poston. Talks ceased March 17 because under NFL guidelines, the Rams would have lost the right to apply the franchise tag on any player over the length of a contract that Pace may have signed before July 15.

    Both sides are seeking a long-term deal, with the main sticking point being the amount of the signing bonus: The Rams have offered $13 million; Poston initially asked for $27 million in a seven-year, $71 million proposal, but later indicated that he would seek a bonus of about $20 million.

    Pace, however, asserted later in March that he and the Rams might not be so far apart. A few days after a Post-Dispatch story cited two team sources who said the Rams would be willing to boost the bonus to $16 million or $17 million, Pace telephoned the reporter and said that if the Rams were to make such an offer, "I think we can get something done."

    Less than a week later, Poston said, "If that's what he wants to do, fine. It's his decision." Attempts to reach Poston and Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt, who handles contract negotiations, were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

    Pace, 28, boycotted the team's minicamps, offseason conditioning program and training camp last year in a contract dispute; he later was named the Rams' franchise player. He also missed minicamp this past May and again was absent from the offseason workouts.

    Pace is a six-year NFL veteran from Ohio State. The Rams selected him with the first overall pick in the 1997 draft. Pace, 6-foot-7 and 325 pounds, soon became the key cog on the offensive line. He has been invited to the Pro Bowl the past five seasons, a span in which the Rams posted a 56-24 regular-season record and appeared in two Super Bowls.

  • #2
    Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

    They can resume talks, but the real question is will they? It's put up or shut up time for Orlando. If any of that stuff he said in March was true about wanting to get something done, it's time to show it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

      I don't expect anything to happen until training camp is either over or just about over.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

        I agree TX. He doesn't want to be in camp. They'll get it done, but only when they need to.

        I really wish he would sign and show up for at least a week of camp.
        This space for rent...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

          Originally posted by thoey
          I agree TX. He doesn't want to be in camp. They'll get it done, but only when they need to.

          I really wish he would sign and show up for at least a week of camp.
          I hear what you're saying, thoey, but with our luck he would probably break a leg or something in his first practice. As bad as I hate to admit it, last season he picked up pretty quickly even without camp. I think he'll miss camp again, but, the difference being, this year he will get the long-term deal done with or without team Poston.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

            He did do well, but the team, along with the rest of the O-Line, needs to get used to playing with the big boy....
            This space for rent...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

              Originally posted by thoey
              He did do well, but the team, along with the rest of the O-Line, needs to get used to playing with the big boy....
              I agree. There's a lot to be said for chemistry on the O-line.
              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                Originally posted by txramsfan
                I don't expect anything to happen until training camp is either over or just about over.
                And that's what burns me about Pace. I understand he doesn't have a contract and so doesn't have to show until the deal is done, but he's notorious for sitting out camp. I really think he needs to be there sooner than the last week. Get in game shape sooner, get with the new wrinkles I anticipate the offense will put in, hell, just get around the guys again. Nobody wants to go through the rigors of camp, but it's not like the veterans are going through Camp Lombardi these days anyway.

                If he was sincere in what he said in March, get the deal done and get to Macomb sooner than later.

                By the way, I know how the Postons negotiate (for lack of a better word), but what kind of negotiator is ZYgmunt?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                  Trade Pace for 2 #1s.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                    Originally posted by coy bacon
                    Trade Pace for 2 #1s.
                    To who? Even Cleveland, a team who was dying for a skilled LT, wouldn't make that deal for Pace.

                    Besides, I'm not looking forward to having Turley move over and Williams serve as the other bookend. I don't know about you, but I don't have a burning desire to see Smoker forced to start this season.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                      Pace is possibly, no I'll say it, Pace has ALWAYS been the most important person on the offense. He protects the blind side of the QB. No one is better than Orlando Pace at his position for what he does for the Rams.

                      Trading Pace would be the dumbest thing the Rams have ever done.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                        Trade Pace for 2 #1s.
                        Coy, we should have done this before i.e. we missed the boat and its now too late to find a decent replacement

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                          Originally posted by txramsfan
                          Pace is possibly, no I'll say it, Pace has ALWAYS been the most important person on the offense. He protects the blind side of the QB. No one is better than Orlando Pace at his position for what he does for the Rams.

                          Trading Pace would be the dumbest thing the Rams have ever done.

                          Tx I think you're overstating Pace's value - "the most important person on the offense".

                          I think Warner and Faulk were far more important, and, perhaps its a coincidence, but some other's have agreed with me.

                          Nick makes a good point about who would pay 2 #1s, but I say that they should try to get a great deal for him. Pace has turned this into a circus. And if he plays the same game as last year, only to show up cold in the first game, well maybe Smoker will start after all, even with Pace on the line.

                          I have a question for the guys who know about contracts... let's say Pace is signed for a huge contract, but he sucks this season and next. Could the Rams cut him like they did Warner, to unload an under-achieving player and save money?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                            Originally posted by coy bacon
                            Tx I think you're overstating Pace's value - "the most important person on the offense".

                            I think Warner and Faulk were far more important, and, perhaps its a coincidence, but some other's have agreed with me.

                            Nick makes a good point about who would pay 2 #1s, but I say that they should try to get a great deal for him. Pace has turned this into a circus. And if he plays the same game as last year, only to show up cold in the first game, well maybe Smoker will start after all, even with Pace on the line.

                            I have a question for the guys who know about contracts... let's say Pace is signed for a huge contract, but he sucks this season and next. Could the Rams cut him like they did Warner, to unload an under-achieving player and save money?
                            Coy, I don't know. I think Tx makes a point here. At the risk of sounding quasi-blasphemous, Kurt Warner can be replaced. Bulger will never be Warner '99-'01, but he manages to run the offense well enough. I think we will soon find that Faulk can be replaced. I believe Jackson will be a premier back in the league. Pace can not be replaced....yet. The difference is timing. Warner has maybe 2 or 3 more good years in him. Faulk, about the same. O-linemen generally last longer than skill players. Pace may have another 10-12 years in him. Now is the time to get him signed long-term not shop him.
                            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rams, Pace can resume talks

                              Note that the article in the post dispatch contradicts what howard balzer has reported, ie that no talks can occur until pace signs the tender. This is chicken and egg. They want to get a deal done, but pace really doesnt want to suffer in the heat in macomb. In order to get the long term deal done, he actually has to sign and get to training camp, if mr. balzer is correct that they cant negotiate without the tender being signed.

                              As to his value, i dont think he was as important as faulk or warner in their prime, but i think he is currently the most important guy on the offense. No one ever was willing to give us a 1 and a 2, let alone two #1's so that is an academic discussion. Player assessment aside, no one was going to give up that much AND have to deal with the postons and their outrageous demands.

                              ramming speed to all

                              sign the big man

                              general counsel

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • RamWraith
                                Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks
                                by RamWraith
                                By Jim Thomas
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                Thursday, Sep. 09 2004

                                There may be no way to close the negotiating - and monetary - gap between
                                Orlando Pace and the Rams. But at least Pace has learned to make the most of
                                his time away from the Rams in terms of conditioning.

                                "I feel light years better than I did last year," Pace said Thursday. "Just
                                losing about 20 pounds. I feel a lot quicker, a lot fresher."

                                Pace reported at 325 pounds Sunday, about 20 pounds lighter than last season,
                                when he also boycotted all team activities and skipped training camp in a
                                contract impasse. After his initial practices last season, Pace felt winded.
                                Three practices into his 2004 season, that hasn't been the case.

                                "I feel great," Pace said. "Compared to last year, it's like night and day.
                                After taking a few reps, you're a little winded as everybody is, but not nearly
                                as bad as last year."

                                Pace trained a little differently this offseason, but the major factor in his
                                improved conditioning was an improved diet.

                                "I cut down on my fried foods," Pace said. "I tried to cut down on my soda, and
                                things like that."

                                Even at the heavier weight last year, Pace played surprisingly well at the
                                start of the season. So in theory, he could be even more impressive in his
                                trimmer, better-conditioned state.

                                "I watched (practice) tape, and it looks like he's been here all camp," coach
                                Mike Martz said. "Honest to goodness it does. No mental errors. He's quick.
                                He's physical. ... He's not sluggish.

                                "At this time last year, he was very sluggish. The conditioning was a factor
                                for him last year. So I'm very pleased with where he is. He's obviously been
                                very conscientious about being in shape and ready to go, and it's much
                                appreciated by all of us."

                                If only things could go as smoothly on the negotiating front.

                                "I'm always hoping that they can get a deal done - for security reasons, and
                                things like that," Pace said. "The possibility's still there. But I think at
                                the end of the year, they'll try to hammer something out, or else I'll be
                                franchised again."

                                Pace's "end-of-the-year" comment was curious, because now that he has signed
                                the one-year, $7.02 million tender offer, the sides actually can begin
                                negotiating again.

                                Under league rule, any talks came to a halt following a March 17 negotiating
                                deadline. Since Sunday, when Pace signed the tender, the sides can talk again.

                                A few weeks after the Rams' playoff loss to Carolina on Jan. 10, the Rams
                                offered Pace a seven-year,...
                                -09-10-2004, 06:19 AM
                              • Nick
                                Houston makes offer to Pace - PD
                                by Nick
                                Houston makes an offer to Pace
                                By Jim Thomas
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                03/14/2005

                                Not all the "i's" are dotted, or "t's" crossed. But offensive tackle Orlando Pace has a contract offer from the Houston Texans, and according to sources familiar with the negotiations, it's one that is preferable to the current contract on the table from the Rams.

                                So what happens next?

                                "The ball is really in St. Louis' court as far as what they want to do, and the decision they want to make," Pace told the Houston Chronicle on Monday during his visit with Texans officials. "We'll see here in the next 24 hours or so."

                                The Rams have until 3 p.m. Wednesday to sign Pace to a multi-year contract offer. At that point, a four-month negotiating blackout begins for the Rams and Pace. And that would mean another spring without Pace attending the team's offseason conditioning program - which starts March 21 - no minicamps and no training camp for the third consecutive year.

                                Pace characterized negotiations with the Rams as being "at a standstill."

                                Pace added: "This is typical of what has gone on for the past couple of years for me as far as being franchised. You're trying to get through that, and you really want security and a long-term deal and those types of things. ... I don't know if things are going to be resolved."

                                Things are at a standstill largely because the Rams' latest offer - they submitted a revised proposal to Pace's agents Monday morning - doesn't match the Walter Jones contract in guaranteed money and money paid out in the first three years of the contract.

                                Jones, the offensive tackle for Seattle, re-signed with the Seahawks before the start of the free agency period. Most NFL scouts, coaches and personnel men will tell you Jones and Pace are comparable players. Jones is more consistent, but Pace is more athletic.

                                Jones signed a seven-year, $52.5 million contract that included a $16 million signing bonus. The Rams' latest offer to Pace is believed to be $51 million with a $15 million signing bonus.

                                So the Rams are very much in the ballpark of the Jones contract, both in terms of signing bonus and overall money. But that's not the problem.

                                The issue is the first three years of each contract. Jones will receive $26.7 million in the first three years of the contract, broken down as follows:

                                $16 million in signing bonus.

                                $5.7 million in base salary.

                                $5 million in roster bonuses: a $2 million roster bonus due in March of 2006; and a $3 million roster bonus due in March of 2007.

                                In essence, the roster bonus is guaranteed money, because the Seahawks aren't likely to cut Jones after the first or second years of his contract. So Jones is receiving $21 million...
                                -03-14-2005, 11:41 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Poston is suing Pace
                                by RamWraith
                                Rams | Former agent suing Pace
                                Wed, 2 Aug 2006 05:57:57 -0700

                                Mike Martindale, of the Detroit News, reports St. Louis Rams OT Orlando Pace is being sued by agent Carl Poston. Poston said he's now blocking Pace from his rightful $436,916 arbitration award. Poston has filed a lawsuit in Oakland Circuit Court, Michigan seeking the amount entered by a National Football League arbitration award May 10. Pace was obligated to pay Poston within 10 days. Pace was designated the Rams' franchise player in 2003 when Poston negotiated a one-year, $5.7 million contract. Roger Kaplan, an arbitrator with the National Football League Players Association, found Poston was owed 3 percent for that contract, $213,478, plus interest, as well as $210,630 for Pace's $7 million contract for 2004. Pace had a different agent when he landed a six-year $52.3 million contract, in 2005.
                                -08-02-2006, 05:04 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Rams give Pace franchise tag again for 2005
                                by RamWraith
                                By Bill Coats
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                02/11/2005


                                Stop me if you've heard this one ...

                                For the third year in a row, the Rams have designated left tackle Orlando Pace as their franchise player. The two sides can work on a long-term contract until March 15 but then would enter a "blackout" period when negotiations must cease until mid-July.

                                If no deal is reached, Pace would have to sign a one-year tender to play for the Rams next season. The franchise number for offensive linemen this year is $7,424,000, but Pace would receive about a million more than that. Under league guidelines, he is entitled to the franchise number, which is the average of the five highest-paid players at his position, or 120 percent of his 2004 salary, whichever total is higher.

                                He was paid $7.02 million last year, so his 2005 salary would increase to $8,424,000.

                                Pace, 29, is in Hawaii this week for his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl and could not be reached to comment. The seven-year veteran out of Ohio State was the No. 1 overall selection in the 1997 draft.

                                After getting the franchise tag in 2003, he skipped training camp, finally signing the tender and reporting. Last summer, after turning down a seven-year contract for more than $42 million, he held out even longer, again missing the entire camp and also all four preseason games. He rejoined the team less than a week before the season opener but started that week vs. Arizona.

                                Pace split with his longtime agent, Carl Poston, last September. A players association representative confirmed Friday that Pace has not yet hired a new agent, which probably explains why the franchise designation was made almost two weeks before the NFL deadline.

                                Rams may sign lineman with MS

                                General manager Charley Armey reported Friday that the Rams are close to signing Khiawatha Downey, a 6-foot-4, 332-pound offensive lineman who was an NCAA Division II All-American at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

                                Downey, a North Carolina native who started for two years at Division I Pittsburgh before transferring, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001. He is believed to be the only player with MS, an auto-immune disease that affects the central nervous system, to attempt an NFL career.

                                Downey wasn't drafted last year. "Teams backed away because of MS," he told reporters at the time. NFL scouts "gave me a third-round rating during the season, and then all of a sudden those same people don't want to pick me because they confirmed that I had MS."

                                The San Francisco ***** signed Downey as a free agent and took him to training camp. But he suffered a knee injury and was released after reaching an injury settlement with the team.
                                -02-12-2005, 06:34 AM
                              • Nick
                                ESPN: Orlando Pace has signed an agent, long term deal coming?
                                by Nick
                                Agents could facilitate long-term deal
                                Updated: Feb. 27, 2005
                                By Michael Smith, ESPN.com

                                INDIANAPOLIS -- In what will perhaps be the first step toward finally reaching some form of resolution to what has been a contentious eight-year relationship with his team, St. Louis Rams left tackle Orlando Pace has settled on Kennard McGuire and Fletcher Smith of Skokie, Ill.-based CSMG Sports as his agents, a source said.

                                Pace has been the subject of trade rumors, and a new deal would be his first long-term contract since the one he signed as a rookie.

                                Considered one of the game's premier performers at one of its marquee positions, Pace had been without outside representation since firing his original agents, Carl and Kevin Poston, in September. Pace then acted as his own agent in signing his one-year, $7.02-million franchise tender.

                                Two weeks ago, the Rams designated Pace as their franchise player for the third year in a row. Another one-year contract would pay him a guaranteed salary of $8.424 million, or 120 percent of last year's earnings.

                                The sides have until March 15 to reach agreement on a long-term deal. If not, the Rams cannot sign Pace until July without losing the use of the franchise tag for the length of the contract. The hiring of McGuire and Smith increases the likelihood of a settlement of some kind, not so much because of who they are as who they aren't.

                                The Rams have been at odds with Pace's representatives since St. Louis selected the 6-foot-7, 325-pound tackle first overall out of Ohio State in 1997. Pace missed all of his first training camp and three preseason games before coming to terms on a seven-year deal (it voided to six) and hasn't participated in the past two training camps because, technically, he was not under contract and, therefore, under no obligation to do so.

                                No matter, it seems. Pace, 29, has been selected to each of the past six Pro Bowls. He's started every game in six of his eight seasons, including each of the past two, and 115 of 119 games played. He's also started eight playoff games.

                                Last year, Pace rejected a seven-year, $42-million offer from the Rams that included a $13-million signing bonus. But Pace later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a signing bonus in the area of $15 million to $17 million would suffice; his agents, meanwhile, had at one point proposed $27 million in bonuses, which Rams president Jay Zygmunt famously termed a "ransom note." The Rams also spoke with the Browns about a possible trade last year.

                                The Rams reportedly have had discussions with the New York Giants regarding Pace. But a Rams-Giants deal seems unlikely considering New York does not have a first-round pick -- it belongs to San Diego as part of the draft-day trade that landed the Giants Eli Manning.

                                The contract to which Seattle recently signed Walter...
                                -02-27-2005, 07:50 PM
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