Dickerson 'Unhappy' but Did Not Walk Out on Rams, Agent Says

Times Staff Writer

Ram running back Eric Dickerson, though unhappy with his contract, did not walk out of training camp Saturday, as one report indicated.

Dickerson, in fact, boarded the team charter for London Sunday evening.

"He didn't walk out," his business representative, Charles Chin, said Sunday. "He's a little unhappy, but he didn't walk out."

An article published in Sunday's Orange County Register quoted unnamed players as saying that Dickerson may have walked out of camp after learning that the Raiders' Bo Jackson reportedly had signed a five-year, $7.4-million deal with the National Football League team.

Chin said Dickerson had permission from Ram Coach John Robinson to miss Saturday's practice because of sore hamstrings.

Neither Dickerson nor Robinson could be reached for comment.

It is clear that Dickerson has long been dissatisfied with the three-year extention he signed in 1985, which will pay him $683,000 a year through 1989.

In May, The Times reported that Dickerson would ask the Rams to renegotiate his contract sometime during the season to bring him in line with the top running backs in the NFL.

Chin said that Dickerson's position has not changed, though he has promised not to stage a holdout similar to that of 1985, when he missed two regular-season games.

Chin said that if nothing is resolved, Dickerson would seek other action.

"Under the present conditions, he wants to be traded," Chin said. "If you don't hear of a great new contract for Eric, you will hear a lot about Eric wanting to be traded."

Dickerson was excused from both Friday and Saturday practices because of tight hamstrings, an annual training camp ailment for Dickerson. Chin said Dickerson did mention to Robinson that he was unhappy with his contract, especially after learning of the contract figures for Jackson.

Dickerson has not yet played a down under the terms of his new deal, which was negotiated by former agents Jack Rodri and Ken Norton. In May, Dickerson filed a $12.5-million lawsuit against Rodri, accusing him of mismanagement and fraud.

Dickerson claims that Rodri assured him that the new contract would make him one of highest-paid backs in the NFL.

But it did not. Dickerson, who has led the league in rushing in three of his four seasons, will make less this season than several backs, such as Marcus Allen ($900,000) and Freeman McNeil ($725,000).

Ram Notes

Donald Evans will make $840,000 in the next four years (not $800,000 as originally reported) and will receive a $240,000 signing bonus. If he reaches his incentives, he could increase his salary to as much as $1.1 million over the four years.

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