Rams reach deal with top-pick Quinn
Sunday, July 31, 2011
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams and first-round pick Robert Quinn agreed to terms on a four-year contract with an option for a fifth season.
The Rams also agreed to terms on a three-year deal with defensive tackle Justin Bannan, a nine-year veteran who played with the Denver Broncos last season.
Quinn, the 14th pick out of North Carolina, had to wait five days after changing agents before signing. He missed the first day of training camp Saturday but is expected to be on the field today.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the first workout Quinn’s plane had landed in St. Louis and the two had spoken by telephone. Spagnuolo added Quinn hadn’t signed earlier because of a personal issue, not a contract issue.
“Now it’s physicals and the contract. Hopefully that won’t be a problem,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ll get him out there just as soon as the league says we can do it.”
Quinn had 11 sacks as a sophomore, but was among three players kicked off the team last year for receiving improper benefits, and then was declared permanently ineligible.
The 32-year-old Bannan started every game last year and is considered a strong run stopper.
Earlier in the day, wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker and cornerback Al Harris agreed to terms on one-year contracts.
Spagnuolo said the Rams were attempting to restructure contracts with offensive guard Jacob Bell and defensive back James Butler, and were hopeful both could remain with the team. Both were on the sidelines watching practice.
Spagnuolo said he’d like to re-sign offensive guard Adam Goldberg, an unrestricted free agent.
Sims-Walker had 43 catches with a 13.1-yard average and seven touchdowns last year for the Jacksonville Jaguars and has 14 touchdowns the last two seasons, providing a deep threat for Sam Bradford. The Rams had been considering resigning Mark Clayton, who was sidelined by knee surgery last October, but Spagnuolo said Clayton wasn’t ready.
“Mark right now, the leg’s not right just yet,” Spagnuolo said. “So we’re going to just kind of hold off.”
Sims-Walker said the Rams contacted him for the first time Friday morning.
The 36-year-old Harris played only three games last year because of a knee injury and is reunited with Spagnuolo, who had been an assistant coach in Philadelphia when Harris played for the Eagles. Harris, a 13-year veteran, played three games with the Dolphins last year after returning from a knee injury.
“I love the game, man, love the game,” Harris said. “Still got something to prove. Here to help win. Spags, great guy. Just trying to help build something.”
The first practice was an early-morning walkthrough and Spagnuolo said coaches had to rein in players eager for action. In a two-hour afternoon session, Spagnuolo tried his best not to be too demanding.
“I was talking to myself the whole practice, I really was,” Spagnuolo said. “You’re trying to get them ready, you don’t want to wear them out, you’re trying to stay away from injuries but yet you want them to be ready to go.
“Be calm, be cool, let this one go, it’s day one.”
Players were enthusiastic with the initial results.
“The first day was good,” running back Steven Jackson said. “It felt great to get out here with the team, actually sit down with the coaching staff, and just being in the whole team element.”
Nine players — eight rookies and second-year wide receiver Danario Alexander — cramped in heat and high humidity that spiked after a storm.