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  • Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

    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, $42 million contract that included a
    franchise-record $13 million signing bonus. Pace's agent, Carl Poston,
    countered with a seven-year, $71 million offer that included a $27 million
    signing bonus and $34 million in guaranteed money.

    In March, when word leaked that the Rams would be willing to up Pace's signing
    bonus to $16 million or $17 million, Pace told the Post-Dispatch: "If what was
    written is true ... I think we can get something done."

    Pace also strongly hinted that he might change agents, saying at the time:
    "There will probably be some changes in the future."

    On the final day before the negotiating blackout kicked in, Poston sent a
    revised offer of seven years, $66 million to the Rams, including a $23 million
    signing bonus. But the Rams received it literally minutes before the deadline -
    far too late to react, or revise their offer.

    On Thursday, in his first question-and-answer session with reporters since the
    end of the '03 season, Pace was asked if a $16 million or $17 million signing
    bonus would still get it done.

    "I don't know," Pace said. "We'll have to see during the course of the year.
    There's a lot of things that take place during the course of a year. Salary
    cap, and those type of things. I'll leave that up to my people to handle, and
    we'll go from there."

    Pace also indicated that the Postons - Carl and his brother Kevin - remain his
    agents.

    "I always have confidence in the people that represent me," Pace said. "They're
    professionals in what they do. They have to get the most for their clients. So
    we just have to continue to work and try to hammer something out."

    But Pace also stressed that he's in control of negotiations, not the Postons.

    "Hey, they work for me," Pace said. "That's the bottom line. So whatever
    situation we're in, and how it's handled, and things like that - I make the
    call on that."

    Pace said he boycotted team activities and training camp for the second year in
    a row because "it was the only move I really had as far as when you're
    franchised."

    Technically, Pace wasn't a "holdout" because he wasn't under contract. But the
    effect was the same because of his absence. Pace also said he had a
    predetermined time in mind all along as to when he would report.

    As for taking heat from fans because of his prolonged absence, Pace said he
    tried to stay clear of encounters with fans during the offseason. What about
    media criticism?

    "You guys are going to do your job, and you have to report what you guys
    report," Pace said. "But I have to move on. And really, the bottom line is what
    matters in this locker room, and how the guys feel in here. They're happy to
    see me, and happy that I'm back on the team."

  • #2
    Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

    But Pace also stressed that he's in control of negotiations, not the Postons.
    Which is exactly what they told you to say, huh big guy.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

      it was the only move I really had as far as when you're
      franchised.
      Anybody else sick of hearing this BS? Seems to me like Julian Peterson managed to pull himself into camp a week before the second preseason game. Didn't Woodson do the same?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

        All I heard was

        BLA BLA BLA BLA ME ME BLA ME BLA ME

        __________________________________________________________
        Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

          I'll leave that up to my people to handle, and we'll go from there.
          So whatever situation we're in, and how it's handled, and things like that - I make the
          call on that.
          So, which one is it?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

            On the final day before the negotiating blackout kicked in, Poston sent a revised offer of seven years, $66 million to the Rams, including a $23 million
            signing bonus. But the Rams received it literally minutes before the deadline -
            far too late to react, or revise their offer.
            This is an example of incompetence, bad-faith negotiations, or both. It is completely unreasonable to expect anyone to consider anything with virtually no notice.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

              He's practicing, he's on the team, and the only ones who are belly aching are the fans.

              Again, Pace won't be our problem. I'll bet anyone some Texas BBQ on it....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                Whatcha BBQing TX? :redface:
                JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
                :ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram::ram:

                "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
                Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                  bla bla bla, thats all I heard I swear well apart from the BBQ stuff ......... mmmm better get in there before fatty

                  __________________________________________________________
                  Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                    As the Horns get ready to take the hairybacks to the woodshed tomorrow, we will have:

                    Brisket
                    Pork Ribs
                    Pork Loin
                    Beef Ribs

                    and maybe, maybe a vegetable.....but I don't want to ruin the BBQ... LOL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                      I think there's some tomato in the sauce. That's a vegetable, right?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                        Originally posted by AvengerRam
                        I think there's some tomato in the sauce. That's a vegetable, right?
                        Uh, no. Tomato is a fruit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                          I was wondering which wise guy would be the first with that response. I guess I'm not surprised who it was. :redface:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                            Originally posted by txramsfan
                            He's practicing, he's on the team, and the only ones who are belly aching are the fans.

                            Again, Pace won't be our problem. I'll bet anyone some Texas BBQ on it....
                            I don't think there is anyone who isn't happy to have Pace in active status, but you've got to admit his pandering to the media about wanting to "get something done" and "staying out of camp was his only leverage" and "it's up to my agents..er..I mean..I'm in charge" is getting a little old.

                            I'm not saying get rid of him, by no means should we get rid of him. I just don't care for the excuses. If he's going to say anything (which he shouldn't, he doesn't owe us an explanation), just say that he didn't want to go to camp and move on.
                            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks

                              Originally posted by txramsfan
                              As the Horns get ready to take the hairybacks to the woodshed tomorrow, we will have:

                              Brisket
                              Pork Ribs
                              Pork Loin
                              Beef Ribs

                              and maybe, maybe a vegetable.....but I don't want to ruin the BBQ... LOL

                              What, no bird on the menu?

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • RamWraith
                                Rams, Pace can resume talks
                                by RamWraith
                                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.
                                -07-15-2004, 06:31 AM
                              • 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
                                Pace Enjoying Offseason Work
                                by RamWraith
                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Staff Writer

                                Orlando Pace doesn’t remember where he was at this time last year. The one place he knows he wasn’t was Rams Park for the team’s veteran mini-camp.

                                “I probably was working out, just hanging out with my kids. I’m not much of a golfer, so I was probably just chillin’ at home,” Pace said.

                                For the first time since 2002, the Rams’ All-Pro left tackle is attending the team’s veteran mini-camp. Pace missed each of the past two mini-camps because of a contract stalemate.

                                Armed with a new seven-year, $52.9 million deal and the title of team captain, Pace seems rejuvenated. Soon after signing the long-term contract, Pace received a call from coach Mike Martz telling him that he was going to be a captain.

                                The decision to make Pace a captain was easy for Martz.

                                “Just the tempo of which he does things, he is just a great role model for the entire offensive line,” Martz said. “We have some guys that are first-time starters and first-time here. He’s a terrific role model (for them).”

                                Pace’s long and winding road from the first pick in the 1997 draft to six-time Pro Bowler has brought many achievements, but he has never been a team captain before. Pace left Ohio State a year early after winning the Lombardi Trophy as the best offensive lineman two years in a row. Because of his early departure, Pace never led the Buckeyes, as Ohio State reserves that honor for seniors.

                                Of course, Pace was not a captain in recent seasons because he wasn’t around. Without a long-term deal in place, the Rams placed the franchise tag on Pace in each of the past three seasons.

                                The past two years, Pace has not attended any of the mini-camps or training camps because of the franchise tag. In his efforts to get a long-term contract done, he chose to stay away.

                                The time missed didn’t hurt Pace’s performance much, as he still made the Pro Bowl both years. There was, however, a noticeable difference in Pace’s performance last season. Pace admitted on the day he signed his contract that he didn’t play up to his all-world potential last year and an offseason of normal training would probably rectify that.

                                Now, Pace knows he has a chance to be at his absolute best next year, a scary thought for opposing defenses.

                                “I think sometimes what gets lost in holding out is you don’t have a chance to work on your game as much,” Pace said. “I think just being here in the offseason gives you a chance to work on your game and really try to hone your skills.”

                                Last season was particularly difficult for Pace, not only because of his uncertain contract status, but also because of the revolving door next to him at left guard and on the other end at right tackle.

                                Both of those problems seem to be solved, though, as St. Louis signed Rex Tucker to operate next to Pace...
                                -06-04-2005, 03:35 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Pace Proves a Pleasant Surprise to Rams
                                by RamWraith
                                R.B. FALLSTROM

                                Associated Press


                                ST. LOUIS - Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace broke a three-day silence on his contract holdout Thursday, saying a lighter playing weight would help him get back into playing shape in time for Sunday's opener.

                                Earlier this week Pace agreed to a one-year, $7.02 million contract as the team's franchise player, and he practiced for the first time Wednesday. He reported at 325 pounds, almost 20 pounds below last year, and believes that will offset the fact he's got only four practices to get ready.

                                During the offseason, in addition to working out on his own, Pace largely eliminated fried foods from his diet and cut back on his soft drink intake.

                                "I feel light years better than I did last year," Pace said. "I feel a lot quicker, a lot fresher. That was one of the elements I dealt with last year, just trying to get the weight down."

                                After two workouts, the Rams have been pleasantly surprised by Pace's conditioning.

                                "It looks like he's been here all camp, honest to goodness he does," coach Mike Martz said. "No mental errors and he's quick, he's physical.

                                "At this time last year he was very sluggish and the conditioning was a factor for him."

                                Martz said there's no question Pace will be ready for the opener.

                                "If there was any doubt, if he was not in great shape or if he was sloppy and making mistakes out here, you'd have to consider otherwise," Martz said. "But it's clear in my mind, he's looked terrific."

                                Pace, the first overall pick of the 1997 draft, has been a holdout in three of his eight seasons. He said there's been no backlash from teammates who went through two-a-days plus four preseason games.

                                "Really the bottom line, and what matters most in this locker room, is how the guys feel," Pace said. "And they're happy to see me and they're happy I'm back on the team."

                                Pace said a holdout was his only option when the Rams designated him as their franchise player for the second straight season. Now that he's signed the Rams and Pace's agents, the Poston brothers, can negotiate a long-term deal.

                                Not that he's holding his breath, considering the sides were far apart the last time they talked.

                                "Right now I'm not really focusing on next year," Pace said. "Whatever happens at the end of the season, hopefully I can sign a long-term deal. If not, we'll be sitting here talking about the same thing next year."

                                After three holdouts, Pace remains steadfast in support of his high-profile agents. He also said the bottom line is these are his decisions.

                                "I always have confidence in the people that represent me," Pace said. "They're professionals in what they...
                                -09-09-2004, 04:26 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Pace fires his agent--Thomas
                                by RamWraith
                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                Post-Dispatch
                                09/14/2004
                                Last March, Orlando Pace strongly hinted that he was contemplating changing agents.

                                ``There will probably be some changes in the future,'' he told the Post-Dispatch on March 25.

                                Turns out Pace wasn't kidding. Pace has fired Houston-based agent Carl Poston as his representative in contract negotiations.

                                The NFL Players Association confirmed Tuesday that Pace filed termination papers on Sept. 2.

                                Under normal procedures, both the agent and the NFLPA receives notification when a player is firing an agent. The player must wait at least five days before hiring a new agent, to make sure the old agent has had sufficient time to be notified that he is being terminated.

                                ``At this point (Pace) has not signed with anybody,'' an NFLPA official said Tuesday.

                                According to NFLPA documents, when Pace signed his one-year, $7.02 million tender on Sept. 5, under the ``agent'' heading he listed himself.

                                Contracts must be signed both by the player and his agent. Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt confirmed Tuesday that Pace's signature appears under both the ``player'' and ``agent'' headings on the contract.

                                ``He did sign his contract representing himself,'' Zygmunt said. ``In all honesty, he said he was representing himself. That's all he said.''

                                Zygmunt figured it wasn't the place or the time to ask Pace whether he was firing Poston or hiring a new agent. Even on Tuesday, Zygmunt said, ``I haven't been advised of anything.''

                                The mere act of Pace signing the contract as his own agent potentially cost Poston as much as $210,000. NFL agents can charge clients as much as 3 percent on any contract.

                                (Some agents don't charge when a player signs a franchise tender, because in essence it's a non-negotiated contract.)

                                In any event, there had been much confusion on the matter recently. In an interview with local media Thursday at Rams Park, Pace seemed to give Poston a vote of confidence, saying in part, ``I always have confidence in the people that represent me. . . .''

                                But in hindsight, those remarks might have been misinterpreted, because he never specifically mentioned Carl Poston, or his brother Kevin Poston, in those comments.

                                Then on Sunday, FOX television reported that Pace was terminating his relationship with Poston. But after the game, Pace first hedged on the subject, then seemed to issue a denial that he had fired Poston.

                                One reason Pace may be reluctant to confirm firing Poston is that he almost certainly will be bombarded by agents seeking his services. In addition, Pace is a private person who -- believe it or not -- doesn't like controversy.

                                Regardless, the NFLPA document makes it official. So does the fact that Poston's name is not on the one-year contract....
                                -09-14-2004, 06:20 PM
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