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  • Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

    Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Tuesday, Mar. 08 2005

    Talks continue between the Rams and agents for offensive tackle Orlando Pace,
    but the clock is ticking. Just a week remains before a four-month negotiating
    blackout period begins for franchise players.

    Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt spoke with Pace's new agents
    Tuesday about a multiple-year deal. Zygmunt rarely says much about current
    negotiations, but he was particularly tight-lipped Tuesday about the status of
    the Pace contract talks.

    "We're conferring, and we'll continue to talk, but that's all I want to say at
    this point," Zygmunt said.

    Pace recently hired agents Kennard McGuire and Fletcher Smith of Chicago-based
    CSMG Sports. McGuire did not return a phone message from the Post-Dispatch on
    Tuesday.

    After designating Pace as the team's franchise player for the third consecutive
    year, the Rams have until March 15 to negotiate a multiple-year deal.
    Otherwise, under league rules, the Rams must wait until July 15 to resume
    negotiations. That would all but ensure that Pace misses the entire offseason
    conditioning program, minicamps, and all or most of training camp.

    Pace currently counts $8.425 million against the team's salary cap. A
    multiple-year deal could trim $3 million or more from that cap figure, freeing
    up money for the Rams to pursue other free agents.

    "It would just provide so much more money to continue to plug in a significant
    player on defense to help," coach Mike Martz said Tuesday.

    But Martz was almost as cautious as Zygmunt in assessing the Pace contract
    situation.

    "You always try to be positive about these things and hope that the right
    thing's going to happen, but we'll see," Martz said. "I don't know what to tell
    you."

    Rams renew interest in Roland Williams

    Seeking to bolster their tight end position, the Rams want to bring in Roland
    Williams for a visit and a physical. But Williams is headed to Hawaii for the
    NFL Players Association meetings today, and won't return for another week.

    Williams, 29, was a fourth-round draft pick of the Rams in 1998 out of
    Syracuse. He spent his first three NFL seasons with St. Louis as the team's
    primary starter at tight end. He was traded to Oakland following the 2000
    season, and has spent three of the past four seasons with the Raiders. He
    appeared in 12 games last season for Oakland, including three starts, but had
    no catches.

    Saipaia gets bonus

    Offensive lineman Blaine Saipaia received an extra $80,061 in salary for the
    2004 season under the NFL's performance-based pay program. This season, each
    team received an extra $1.784 million in performance-based pay - money over and
    above base salaries that does not count against a team's salary cap.

    In the case of the Rams, the money was distributed to 59 players, with
    Saipaia's total a team high. Other Rams receiving performance-based pay in
    excess of $60,000 were: safety Rich Coady ($71,750); linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa
    ($71,019); linebacker Brandon Chillar ($67,606); fullback Joey Goodspeed
    ($65,420); and defensive end Bryce Fisher ($63,042).

    The program is designed primarily to reward players with low or moderate
    contracts using a formula that takes into account playing time and performance.

    Comings and goings

    Guard-tackle Darnell Alford has agreed to terms on a one-year deal for the
    veteran's minimum and is expected to sign today. Alford was with the Rams for
    the entire 2004 season but did not appear in any games.

    The Rams have made contract offers to defensive backs Michael Hawthorne and
    Michael Stone, both of whom were in for free-agent visits earlier this week.

    Guard-center Matt Lehr completed a free-agent trip to Denver on Tuesday and
    promptly headed to Atlanta for another visit. The Rams claimed Lehr off waivers
    from Dallas on Dec. 29, but he never appeared in a game for St. Louis.

    Russ Michna, a candidate for the Rams' No. 3 quarterback job, has been cut from
    his NFL Europe team.

  • #2
    Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

    Hmmm, I'd take Roland Williams back. Never thought of that.

    Interesting! :mask:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

      He's Lazy, Plain and simple. Orlando Pace is a Lazy, uninspired player that has God gifted talent. I guess it's true, everyone makes mistakes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

        Originally posted by Jim Thomas

        Other Rams receiving performance-based pay in excess of $60,000 were: safety Rich Coady ($71,750) ... The program is designed primarily to reward players with low or moderate contracts using a formula that takes into account ... performance.
        Someone call the cops. This is nothing more than grand theft larceny.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

          Russ Michna, a candidate for the Rams' No. 3 quarterback job, has been cut from his NFL Europe team.
          Probably not a good sign for an NFL candidate to get cut from his NFLE team.

          Bring on Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard's genius QB. Martz would have the perfect clip-board holder, tax accountant, doctor, lawyer, engineer, cold-fusion chemist & bio-geneticist all in one.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

            [Bring on Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard's genius QB. Martz would have the perfect clip-board holder, tax accountant, doctor, lawyer, engineer, cold-fusion chemist & bio-geneticist all in one.[/QUOTE]

            Yeah... Yeah... BUT can he play safety??? :tongue:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

              Originally posted by MauiRam
              [Bring on Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard's genius QB. Martz would have the perfect clip-board holder, tax accountant, doctor, lawyer, engineer, cold-fusion chemist & bio-geneticist all in one.
              Yeah... Yeah... BUT can he play safety??? :tongue:[/QUOTE]Hmm, good point. I forgot about the ol' Bellisari amendment.
              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              Comment


              • #8
                I want an athletic QB!

                How about Adrian McPherson in the 5th if available, or Leflors in the 6th? I want a QB that can move!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I want an athletic QB!

                  Originally posted by ramhard
                  How about Adrian McPherson in the 5th if available, or Leflors in the 6th? I want a QB that can move!
                  Then how about the Razorback's Matt Jones. Fastest 40-time ever for a QB and projects as a WR. Since 3rd QB is just for emergencies anyway, Jones could fill both roles, 3rd QB and 5th WR. Why take up two roster spots when he could do both?
                  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I want an athletic QB!

                    Not sure I'd really want Jones as our 3rd QB, as I'm sure there's a reason besides speed that he's being projected at a different position than quarterback. If we did go that route, we should definitely keep at least one QB on the practice squad whom we feel comfortable with in this offense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I want an athletic QB!

                      Originally posted by NickSeiler
                      Not sure I'd really want Jones as our 3rd QB, as I'm sure there's a reason besides speed that he's being projected at a different position than quarterback. If we did go that route, we should definitely keep at least one QB on the practice squad whom we feel comfortable with in this offense.
                      What's it matter who's our 3rd stringer? If Bulger goes down again, we'll go sign Martin. That's why it's an emergency position. Jones would only come in for emergencies, like Bulger and Smoker collide in pre-game, and Martin isn't answering his phone, and Chandler is on the golf course, and Joe Germaine's number is unlisted. You know, emergencies. :king:
                      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I want an athletic QB!

                        Sweet, thanks for clearing that up, bison. Though I suspect that even if Chandler were in the stands, he wouldn't be as high on the list as you've got him. ;)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I want an athletic QB!

                          Originally posted by NickSeiler
                          Sweet, thanks for clearing that up, bison. Though I suspect that even if Chandler were in the stands, he wouldn't be as high on the list as you've got him. ;)
                          Oh I'm sorry. You thought I meant Chris Chandler, no, no, no, I was talking about Chandler from Friends.
                          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

                            As in Chandler Bing i believe. Another preferable Chandler option would be Raymond Chandler, the author, who i am relatively sure is dead.

                            general counsel

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rams and Pace talk as negotiating blackout looms

                              That's pretty damn funny....

                              got to admit.

                              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, 05:31 AM
                              • 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, 05:19 AM
                              • Nick
                                Teammates suffer while Pace -- with nothing to gain -- sits out
                                by Nick
                                Teammates suffer while Pace -- with nothing to gain -- sits out
                                BY JEFF GORDON
                                Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
                                Wednesday, Aug. 25 2004

                                We all understand the NFL is a business, and a nasty one at that.

                                The franchises are enormously profitable. Franchise values escalate yearly. The folks that own these franchises are very, very rich.

                                Nobody should begrudge players for getting whatever they can out of the game, for as long as they can physically last.

                                But there comes a point when a football player has to become a teammate, too, and consider the needs of the men he will line up with when the real games
                                start.

                                Orlando Pace is well past that point with the Rams. By refusing to report to training camp, he literally put his fellow Male Sheep in harm's way the past two weeks.

                                Therefore, O.P. has become a terrible teammate.

                                In his absence, tackle Grant Williams has played with an ankle injury because the Rams need experienced offensive linemen to play preseason games. He has played in pain, risking further injury.

                                In Pace's absence, Adam Timmerman has played with a shoulder injury for the same reason. Chris Dishman has rushed back into the fray, still huffing and puffing, after his un-retirement.

                                And Pace? He stayed out of camp, despite having nothing to gain by refusing to sign his franchise tag tender.

                                Nobody should begrudge players who put themselves first, since the NFL quickly discards athletes once they lose value. But a player who puts himself THAT far ahead of his team . . . well, you have to wonder how he will ever move forward with the group.

                                The Rams can't negotiate a long-term contract with Pace until he signs that tender and reports to work. The longer he waits to sign the tender, the less likely a deal can be struck before the season.

                                Obviously the Pace Camp is frustrated by this whole "franchise player" designation, a piece of the collective bargaining agreement that inevitably creates hard feelings.

                                Getting tagged year after year would aggravate any player eager to bank the staggering signing bonus that would come with a new long-term deal.

                                Then again, a player can't expect to get a long-term deal from a competitive deal while making outrageous demands. A player can't expect to reach a long-term agreement unless his agents -- in this case the Poston brothers -- fit those requests within the salary cap framework of the team.

                                Pace expressed some willingness to do just that during the spring, but then went back into hiding while his representatives held firm.

                                The Rams have done a marvelous job managing their salary cap. Jay Zygmunt is a master at it. His creativity has allowed the Rams to keep many top players while remaining competitive year after year after year....
                                -08-25-2004, 01:09 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, 05:20 PM
                              • 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, 06:50 PM
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