Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kelly Gets New Offer from Rams

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kelly Gets New Offer from Rams

Article excerpt

The Rams are stepping up their efforts to sign linebacker Joe Kelly. Coach Rich Brooks has called Kelly several times in the last couple of days. The Rams have increased their offer to a $200,000 signing bonus and a base of $350,000, for a one-year package of $550,000.

General manager Steve Ortmayer even said Wednesday that the Rams would do a two-year deal with Kelly if the numbers were right.

But so far, Kelly remains unsigned.

"I'm in limbo," Kelly said. "I had a couple good conversations with Rich Brooks, so we'll see what's going on. . . . If we can get a deal with the Rams that we think is fair, we'll do it. If not, we'll wait till the hearing."

That hearing Kelly referred to is scheduled for 3 p.m. today with National Football League special master John Feerick. The special master rules on disputes involving free agency.

With the backing of the NFL Players Association, Kelly claims that the Rams do not retain matching rights because they rescinded a $550,000 tender offer last month. The Rams, with the apparent backing of the NFL, claim that they retain those rights. Feerick will hear the dispute on a conference call unless Kelly signs with the Rams before 3 p.m.

If the Rams lose the case, Kelly would be free to sign with any club, no strings attached. The Rams' opening-day opponent, Green Bay, remains very interested in Kelly if the Rams lose.

Farewell To Bronzell: There will be no more Bronzell Miller diaries in the Post-Dispatch. Miller, the colorful rookie defensive end, was released by the Rams on Wednesday. If no other team claims Miller, a seventh-round draft pick from Utah, the Rams are interested in signing him to their practice squad next week.

The Newest Rams: The Rams claimed two former Oakland Raiders off waivers Wednesday: running back Greg Robinson and defensive end Alberto White. Both were released Tuesday by the Raiders.

Robinson has had an interesting week. He was traded by the Raiders to Green Bay for a conditional late-round pick Monday night, but failed the Packers' physical. Robinson missed the 1994 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee late in the 1993 season. …

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