Monday, March 1, 2010

Rams' move makes it obvious that Barron is on the market

INDIANAPOLIS — The process of making tender offers to the Rams' 13 restricted
free agents has taken an unusual twist for offensive tackle Alex Barron, a move
that can only be interpreted as the club is dangling him as trade bait.

Under league rules, the Rams must pay Barron 110 percent of his 2009 salary, or
$2.73 million in 2010. That's a dollar amount that entitles the Rams to a
first-round draft pick as compensation if they decided not to match any outside

But here comes the curveball: Although they have to pay Barron at a first-round
level, they don't have to ask for first-round draft pick compensation.

And they're not.

According to multiple league sources, the Rams informed Barron's agents Sunday
night that they will be asking for only second-round draft pick compensation
when they turn their tender offers into the league office later this week.

In essence, the Rams are throwing out a fishing line to the rest of the league,
with Barron as the trade bait.

It's another deep year for offensive tackles in the draft. Early indications
point to Jason Smith, the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, moving to
left tackle next season. Some of the Rams' best right tackles since the team
moved to St. Louis were middle-round picks. Ryan Tucker was a fourth-rounder;
Fred Miller, a fifth-rounder.


Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy realized football might be his calling
at an early age growing up in Oklahoma City.

"One time in little league play, I tackled three people," McCoy said.

At the same time. In other words, he tackled the entire backfield.

"The quarterback, he didn't know who to give it to, so I just grabbed
everybody," McCoy said. "It was right then that I was like, 'I might (be able)
to play this.' Everybody just looked at me like, 'Did he just grab three
people?' That right there should let you know how big a kid I was."

McCoy said he was 11 at the time. By the time he was 12, McCoy said, he weighed
238 pounds.


Growing up in Portland, Ore., Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh realized
his future probably wasn't as one of the largest soccer players in little
league history.

"I got a ton of fouls," Suh said. "That's kind of the reason why I moved away
from soccer, because I got too many red cards."

With his soccer background, Suh said he wouldn't hesitate to try kicking a
field goal in the NFL if called upon.

"I did it in high school," Suh said. "Why not?"


Contrary to some Internet speculation, the agents for Marc Bulger are not
pressing the Rams for a decision on the future of the veteran quarterback,
league sources familiar with the situation told the Post-Dispatch.


Tennessee's Eric Berry looked surprised when asked Sunday if he planned to work
out at the combine.

"I'm working out here. I'm doing everything," said Berry, the highly regarded
safety. "It's the combine, not a fashion show."

— Speed-wise, Clemson running back C.J. Spiller lived up to his billing,
unofficially posting sub 4.3-second times in the 40. But Mississippi running
back Dexter McCluster ran a disappointing 4.58.

— Florida quarterback Tim Tebow had a 38 1/2-inch vertical leap, which is
believed to be a combine record for quarterbacks.

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