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UCLA’s Henley, Auburn’s Smith Sign With Rams

The Rams announced Sunday the signing of two second-round draft picks, former UCLA cornerback Darryl Henley and former Auburn linebacker Brian Smith, both of whom received four-year, $1.2-million deals.

The signings left the Rams to contend with first-round choices Bill Hawkins and Cleveland Gary, second-round pick Frank Stams and ninth-round choice Vernon Kirk.

The Rams had hoped to sign all three second-round choices by the end of this week before digging into tougher negotiations with University of Miami draft choices Hawkins, a defensive end, and Gary, a fullback.

And based on the relatively painless signings of Henley and Smith over the weekend, Stams shouldn’t be far behind. In fact, the linebacker from Notre Dame and 45th pick overall is in the area, staying with his visiting parents at a friend’s home in Santa Barbara.

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The deals signed Sunday exceed what the team paid each of its three second-round choices a year ago. Both Henley, the 53rd pick overall, and Smith, the 48th choice, bettered the contract signed last year by cornerback Anthony Newman, who signed a four-year, $1.1-million deal as the 35th overall pick.


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