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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Bettis’ Success a Contract Buster

Ram tailback Jerome Bettis signed a five-year, $4.625-million contract last July that included incentive clauses he wasn’t sure he could reach in his rookie season.

But he has.

Bettis needed one Pro Bowl appearance and two 1,200-yard rushing seasons in his first four years to eliminate the fifth year of his contract. After rushing for 1,283 yards so far this season and being selected to the Pro Bowl as a backup Tuesday, Bettis is two-thirds of the way toward his goal.

“A lot of people didn’t think it was a viable clause in the contract at the time, that it was far-fetched,” Bettis said. “But after everything I’ve done this year, everyone knows now that it’s a good deal and it can become a reality.”

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Bettis made the NFC squad along with second-year defensive tackle Sean Gilbert, who was selected as a starter. Fans, coaches and players selected the NFC and AFC teams, which will play on Feb. 6 in Honolulu.

Bettis received a $100,000 bonus for breaking 1,200 yards.


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