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Stokes Returns to Rams as a Much Richer Man

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Defensive end Fred Stokes improved his pay as a Plan B pioneer in 1988, and now after signing with the Rams in the early days of unrestricted free agency, Stokes has once again padded his bank account.

Stokes earned $335,000 in 1992, but Friday he signed a three-year contract worth almost $4 million to leave the Redskins and play for the Rams.

The Rams gave Stokes a $1.5-million signing bonus and will pay him $700,000, $750,000 and $800,000 in base salary the next three years.

“I think it’s (free agency) a blessing,” Stokes said. “I was one of the first ones out on the Plan B deal, and here it is again--I’m one of the first guys to move back. I’ve basically come home. This is where it all started.”

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The Rams selected Stokes in the 12th round of the 1987 draft and then chose to not make him one of their 37 protected players following the 1988 season.

After joining Washington, Stokes was used as a pass rushing specialist. He recorded 48 tackles in 1992, compiled 3 1/2 sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered one.

“Fred Stokes is one of the best pass-rushers in the league today,” Ram Coach Chuck Knox said. “He did an outstanding job for the Redskins and definitely upgrades us at the defensive end position.”

Stokes, 29, arrived in Palm Desert Friday with his agent, Jack Reale, and completed the deal with the Rams a day after informing the Redskins he would not accept their offer.

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“I’ve improved tremendously in a couple of different areas since my first time with the Rams,” Stokes said. “I only weighed 250; now I’m 275.


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