Saturday, March 15, 2003

Pace's agent asks Rams for a trade



The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS - The agent for Orlando Pace has asked the St. Louis Rams for a trade, saying the team refuses to negotiate with the Pro Bowl offensive tackle.

"We'd like to see a trade happen," agent Carl Poston told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a story posted Friday night on the newspaper's Web site. "And the only reason we're doing that is that the Rams are not negotiating.

"They refuse to. I don't know why. If they're not going to pay him, then we'd just like him to be able to go somewhere else, where he can be paid."

Because Pace was not signed by the end of the day Friday, the Rams lost the right to use the franchise tag again for the length of any contract signed by him before July 15.

Poston said his phone calls to the Rams on Friday went unanswered. But team president John Shaw, reached in Los Angeles by the newspaper, called Poston's accusation "crazy."

"The spirit of their offer to us suggested to us that they were the ones that didn't want to negotiate," Shaw told the Post-Dispatch.

Poston had sought an $85 million contract, with a signing bonus of $23.8 million, for Pace. That's roughly twice what the Rams are willing to pay over a seven-year contract.

"But putting that aside, (Poston) doesn't really need to do a trade," Shaw said. "He's free to go out and sign a contract.

"The system allows him to go out and get a deal somewhere else. If Orlando is worth what (Poston) represents his value to be, he should be able to get somebody to pay that."

Pace can still receive offers from other teams, but the Rams retain the right to match any offer. If they choose not to match, they get two first-round draft picks from Pace's new team as compensation.

Poston said he couldn't guarantee that Pace would attend the start of the Rams' offseason conditioning program March 24, or the team's minicamps in May and June.




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