Greg Bell Is Still Unhappy After Signing With Rams

Times Staff Writer

Running back Greg Bell signed a two-year contract with the Rams Monday, a deal that his agent said left Bell "satisfied," although the running back appeared anything but happy.

Bell, the Rams' leading rusher last season, will receive a base salary of about $500,000 a year plus incentives. Reserve tackle Robert Cox also signed Monday and will get about $185,000 this season and $200,000 the next.

Bell, who rushed for 1,212 yards last season, drove into camp late Monday afternoon, signed, walked over to the Ram locker room, talked with teammates then walked to his car, trailed by reporters. After a terse exchange, he left.

Is this a happy running back?

"Greg made the decision to dedicate himself to football and leave all the other things aside," said Steve Feldman, Bell's agent. "I think he just wants to put on his uniform, show up, play and go home and not get involved in any controversies."

"The Rams are a tough bunch. The negotiations were extremely difficult, I can't tell you we got everything we wanted.

"Obviously we got enough of it or we wouldn't have come in. If he (Bell) wasn't satisfied he wouldn't be here."

Now that he is, Ram Coach John Robinson expects him to be ready to play in Saturday's exhibition finale against Detroit.

Asked if one preseason game and a couple weeks of practice are enough to be ready for the season opener against Atlanta, Robinson said: "I don't think he can carry 30 times, but I think he can have a major contribution in the Atlanta game."

Robinson said that Bell returns to the team as the starter, but made no promises.

"Like anything else, we're going to play the best guy," he said. "If Greg comes back and he's the third-best guy then he won't play. I'm not real interested in pecking orders, when Greg is Greg Bell he's the best tailback we've got right now."

Cox, the Rams' third-best tackle, reportedly agreed to a two-year deal over the weekend, but did not sign until an hour after Bell.

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