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DIESELMAN
03-10-2006, 06:54 PM
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams agreed to a three-year, $15 million deal with Isaac Bruce on Friday, five days after releasing him.

With $7.5 million more available under the new deal between the league and its players union, the Rams were able to welcome back their longest-tenured player, giving him the chance to finish his career where it started. The team had said it hoped to bring him back once the labor dispute was settled.

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The 33-year-old four-time Pro Bowl selection was approached by other NFL teams but now comes back for a 13th season that began when the team was in Los Angeles.

President of football operations Jay Zygmunt said it took one phone call to finalize the deal.

"We have a really good relationship, and he belongs here," Zygmunt said. "He clearly knew that we wanted him to be here."

Bruce was entering the final year of a seven-year, $42 million contract he signed in 2000. He had a salary cap figure of $10 million for next season. He was due a $1.5 million roster bonus Monday, the first day of the free agency period, along with an $8.1 million salary.

The new deal will pay him $6 million this season and $4 million in 2007. Talks had bogged down earlier after the Rams offered him a three-year, $9 million contract with a $5 million salary in the first season.

"I'm excited that we have worked out a deal," coach Scott Linehan said. "I'd been optimistic all along that we would be able to get this done."

Bruce was a second-round pick of the Rams in 1994, the year before the team moved to the Midwest from Los Angeles, and Linehan will be his fifth head coach.

He is the Rams' career leader in receptions (813), yards receiving (12,278) and receiving touchdowns (77). He also caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the Rams' lone Super Bowl victory after the 2000 season.

Last season, Bruce missed five games with a dislocated toe and had 36 receptions for 525 yards. Yet he still led the team in yards per catch, and his career average of 15.1 yards is third highest in NFL history among players with at least 800 catches.

The signing gives the Rams three wide receivers under contract heading into the free agency period, along with Torry Holt and Dane Looker. Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald are restricted free agents.

The team has 11 unrestricted free agents, including safety Adam Archuleta and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett. The Rams have made offers to both players.

BlacknGold Bleeder
03-10-2006, 06:59 PM
IMO 6 million is too much for him, but you know what they say about opinions...

Suitanim
03-10-2006, 08:43 PM
No, you're right. They overspent.

tony hipchest
03-10-2006, 08:49 PM
# 2's getting 6 mil is rediculous unless its a unique situation like in indy. no wonder javon walker wants out of green bay.

Suitanim
03-10-2006, 08:51 PM
And I still think ARE is gone, even with the extra jack the Steelers have to spend.

tony hipchest
03-10-2006, 09:03 PM
i doubted if the steelers would offer el 3.5 -4 mil/ year, with or without the new money. bruce has set the market for a #2. bye bye el. like i said in the bruce replacing el thread, signing c. wilson for 4 years/ 8 mil. looks better every day.