July 31, 2010 in Sports

Rams sign Bradford

 
Associated Press photo

Sam Bradford’s deal with the Rams includes a record $50 million guaranteed.
(Full-size photo)

No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford agreed to a six-year, $78 million contract with the St. Louis Rams on Friday night, with $50 million in guaranteed money.

The Rams and the former Oklahoma quarterback concluded negotiations in time for the first full-squad workout set for today. The guaranteed money is the highest ever in the NFL.

Bradford is the centerpiece of a rebuilding effort for the Rams, who were 1-15 last year in the first season under coach Steve Spagnuolo and are 6-42 the last three seasons.

Spagnuolo reiterated earlier this week that veteran backup Jay Feeley is the starter entering training camp. But Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, shouldn’t be on the bench for long.

St. Louis averaged an NFL-low 10.9 points per game last season.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 pick last year, got $41.7 million in guaranteed money on a six-year, $72 million deal with the Lions last year.

Bradford led the nation with 48 touchdown passes in 2008. He played in only three games in 2009 before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Donte’ Stallworth formally resumed his football career, taking the field in pads for the first time since “the situation.”

In March 2009, Stallworth was driving in Florida when he hit 59-year-old crane operator Mario Reyes.

The dock worker died, and three months later Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

He served 24 days in jail and was suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the entire 2009 season.

“I won’t forget about what happened and I will never belittle the situation, because you can’t,” Stallworth said in an interview with the Associated Press in Westminster, Md.. “But at the end of the day, when my name is written on a tombstone hopefully a long time from now, I would want to be remembered for something other than the situation.”

The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver took a major step in that direction. He donned shoulder pads and took the field with teammates, something he hadn’t done since his final days with the Cleveland Browns in December 2008.

After practice, Stallworth spent nearly an hour signing autographs for children. And then, after he was ready to walk off the field, stopped and signed a few more.

Roethlisberger arrives

Ben Roethlisberger is understandably glad that his troubled offseason is behind him. He’s about to find out if the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans are ready to forget about it, too.

Roethlisberger ditched the oversized SUV he normally drives and, perhaps trying to reshape his battered image, arrived at training camp in Latrobe, Pa., in a subcompact convertible that barely held him and injured offensive lineman Willie Colon.

“It’s good to be able to put a lot of things in the offseason behind you and move on and that’s what this is about,” said Roethlisberger, who is suspended for at least the first month of the season. “It’s about doing that and getting ready to play football, because that’s my No. 1 focus.”

Minnesota signed second-round draft pick Toby Gerhart to a four-year deal. Gerhart rushed for 1,871 yards and 28 touchdowns at Stanford last season. … First-round draft pick Maurkice Pouncey, who played center at Florida, agreed to a five-year contract with Pittsburgh. … The New York Jets signed coach Rex Ryan to a two-year contract extension, and signed general manager Mike Tannenbaum to a new five-year deal – keeping both with the franchise through the 2014 season. Also for the Jets, veteran wide receiver Laveranues Coles signed a one-year contract with the team he played with in two previous stints from 2000-02 and 2005-08. … New Orleans agreed to terms on a five-year deal with first-round draft choice Patrick Robinson. … Ike Hilliard and David Tyree, both wide receivers, retired as members of the New York Giants. Tyree will be remembered for his one-handed catch against his helmet in the 2008 Super Bowl. … Detroit president Tom Lewand will be suspended for 30 days and fined $100,000 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following his guilty plea to driving while impaired. … The NFL won’t punish Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson for his offseason arrest involving an alleged bar fight in Texas. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement that he’s satisfied Benson understands his responsibilities as an NFL player.


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