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Wohlabaugh's stint with Rams over

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  • Wohlabaugh's stint with Rams over

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    MACOMB, Ill. - Because of continuing hip problems, center Dave Wohlabaugh's tenure with the Rams has come to a premature end. And perhaps his National Football League career is over, as well.

    The Rams terminated the contract of Wohlabaugh on Wednesday. Because Wohlabaugh couldn't pass a physical more than five months after hip surgery, the Rams don't have to make an injury settlement.

    However, since Wohlabaugh underwent club-authorized surgery in the offseason, he gets a $250,000 injury-protection benefit. The Rams make the payment, but it doesn't count against their salary cap.

    They have no further financial obligation to Wohlabaugh, who signed a four-year, $6 million free-agent contract with the club on February 28, 2003. The deal included a $2 million signing bonus.

    The Rams must count $500,000 of that signing bonus against this year's salary cap, and $1 million against their '05 cap. But they save the $660,000 in base salary Wohlabaugh was scheduled to earn this season, creating more cap room for the team this year.

    Wohlabaugh had not practiced since having surgery for a torn labrum muscle in his right hip March 5. After he visited doctors in St. Louis and Ohio last week for further evaluation, it was determined that he would be sidelined for at least three more months. Even at that, there was only a 50-50 chance that the hip would heal well enough to play.

    Wohlabaugh attended Wednesday morning's practice but then left Macomb for St. Louis. Wohlabaugh could not be reached to comment once his release became official in the afternoon.

    "It doesn't appear like he's going to be able to continue his career," Wohlabaugh's agent, Alan Herman, said Wednesday night. "He was upset, as any player would be. The Rams have been first-class in how they've dealt with him. If there's any way he can continue playing, he knows he's got a home in St. Louis."

    However unlikely it might be, the Rams have left the door open to re-signing Wohlabaugh should his hip improve. But since it was painful at times during training camp for Wohlabaugh to even get into a 3-point stance, a return seems highly unlikely.

    Wohlabaugh, 32, would've been entering his 10th NFL season. He has played his way through a variety of injuries during this career, including a broken hand last season, but had never missed more than four games in any one season until now.

    "It's tough, because it's an internal injury," Wohlabaugh told the Post-Dispatch on Monday. "When you see me walking around, it doesn't look like there's anything wrong. Whereas if you've got a big cast on your hand, everyone says, 'Oh geez, that guy's hurt.' But it's tough, it's tough to deal with.

    "Fortunately for me, the Rams have been outstanding the way that everything's been handled. Very professional. And very upfront."

  • #2
    Re: Wohlabaugh's stint with Rams over

    It's always bad news to hear about a player having to call it quits. I wish Wohlabaugh the best, and hope he was smart with the money he made.


    • #3
      Re: Wohlabaugh's stint with Rams over

      I am glad to hear that the Ram's Organization has seemingly done the right thing. That is good news!

      ARF :king:


      • #4
        Re: Wohlabaugh's stint with Rams over

        yeah it sucks when these things happen. good to hear that the rams handled it with class and at least have the chance to re-sign dave if that chance ever presents itself.


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