|St. Louis Rams sign Marc Bulger, 1st-round pick Adam Carriker|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 27 July 2007 07:51|
Bulger, a no-show for a mandatory team meeting Thursday, took some of the first snaps on the opening day of training camp for the Rams, coming off an 8-8 year in coach Scott Linehan's first season. Carriker, the 13th overall pick of the draft, did not participate in the opening workout because he had not signed a contract that he agreed to early Friday.
``Marc is an outstanding quarterback, one of the very best in the NFL, and getting Marc signed and into training camp was vital,'' Linehan said. ``It's a good day for all.''
Bulger had threatened to hold out without a new deal, and skipping the meeting while negotiations intensified between his agent, Tom Condon, and management sent a strong message.
``I didn't think anybody doubted for a minute that he'd be here,'' Linehan said. ``I'm not saying it's fair to say it's not his style, but Marc wants to help this team win a championship. He knows to do that he's got to be out here.''
Bulger had been in the final year of a four-year, $19.1 million contract that put him somewhere in the middle of the NFL in terms of salary for his position. Prior to camp, the team had said signing Bulger to an extension was a top priority.
Last year Bulger had the best year of his career, throwing for 4,301 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He completed 62.9 percent of his passes and ranked fourth in the NFL in passer rating.
Carriker played defensive end at Nebraska, where he was the Big 12 defensive lineman of the year as a senior and had a team-leading seven sacks. He is expected to move to defensive tackle for the Rams, whose major weakness is in the interior line.
The Rams have compared Carriker to a larger version of another high-motor Nebraska product, Grant Wistrom, who played on St. Louis teams that won the Super Bowl in 2000 and went to another one in 2002.
``We'll see when we start playing, but I'd be real surprised if he's not a heck of a football player,'' Linehan said. ``That's why we drafted him.''
Earlier this decade, the Rams used first-round picks on defensive tackles Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis in 2001 and Jimmy Kennedy in 2003. None are still with the team. Kennedy was dealt to the Broncos for a sixth-round pick in June.
Carriker's signing puts all of the team's draft picks under contract.