Rams Could Sign Young, Ex-Raider Kelly Today

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Rams met the contract guidelines for free-agent linebacker Joe Kelly and defensive end Robert Young Monday, and could have both players signed today.

Jay Zygmunt, Ram senior vice president, met Monday with Steve Feldman, agent for Young and Kelly, and made the offers for both players.

The Rams offered Young, a restricted free agent, a three-year deal worth $3.5 million, nearly a $1-million-a-year raise from last season.

Kelly, cut two weeks ago by the Raiders, is considering one-year deals from the Washington Redskins and the Rams, who offered $500,000 a year.

"The guidelines given to me by my players have been met (by the Rams)," Feldman said. "I need to run it by both players and should have an answer by (today)."

The Rams also are awaiting the arrival of the contract of wide receiver Greg McMurtry.

McMurtry, an unrestricted free agent from New England, had agreed to terms on a one-year, $500,000 deal last week and was supposed to sign his contract Monday and send it by overnight mail to the Rams, said his agent, Brad Blank.

Signing McMurtry won't keep the Rams from pursuing free-agent receiver Haywood Jeffires of Houston, although negotiations have been slow. Fred Joseph, Jeffires' agent, said he has been negotiating with the Oilers and expects to hear from the Rams "very shortly."

"Fred called (Monday) but I haven't got back to him," Zygmunt said.

Jeffires had rejected a three-year, $3.9-million offer from the Rams in April.

McMurtry, 6-feet-2 and 210 pounds, started 28 games for New England from 1991 to 1992 but started only eight last season after a falling out with new Patriot Coach Bill Parcells.

He caught 22 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown but was benched temporarily by Parcells because of a quarrel about a blocking assignment.

"Greg has always been considered a good blocker," Blank said. "Bo Schembechler called him his best blocking receiver ever at Michigan.

"Parcells came in there with a broom and wanted to clean out some of the guys who were there. Greg was a victim of a new coach and a clean sweep."

McMurtry, a standout high school outfielder in Boston, was drafted in the first round by the Boston Red Sox in 1986.

He bypassed baseball to attend Michigan, where he started four years. New England selected him in the third round of the 1990 draft and was the team's No. 2 receiver in 1991 and '92.

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