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Rams Give Faulk Biggest Deal in Team History

From Associated Press

Saying his 12-day holdout was not about money, running back Marshall Faulk signed a seven-year, $45.15-million contract Wednesday to become the highest-paid St. Louis Ram in history.

Faulk said negotiations picked up after he saw a TV report suggesting he wanted no part of the training camp grind.

“I want to be there with them, I want to sweat with them, I want to cramp up with them,” Faulk said in St. Louis. “You pegged me wrong.”

Faulk was the league’s top all-purpose back last season with Indianapolis. He rushed for 1,319 yards and caught 86 passes. The Rams acquired Faulk from Indianapolis two days before the NFL draft in April.

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Faulk is guaranteed $9.6 million. That includes a $7-million signing bonus and $2.6 million base salary this season. He’ll make $19 million in the first four seasons.

“This is by far the biggest contract in Rams’ history, and we really expect Marshall to make a significant contribution,” team President John Shaw said.

Faulk had two years to go on a deal that was scheduled to pay him $2.2 million in base salary this year.

The sticking point in negotiations was the fifth year, in which Faulk will get a $7 million salary and a $5-million roster bonus. The deal was structured that way to prevent the Rams from designating Faulk as a transition or franchise player.

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Raghib “Rocket” Ismail’s debut with the Dallas Cowboys is on hold after the receiver slightly separated his left shoulder.

“We’re calling it day-to-day, but it looks like it’ll be closer to a week before we actually get him back on any type of full-time basis,” Coach Chan Gailey said.

Gailey said Ismail definitely will not play Monday night in the team’s exhibition opener, the Hall of Fame game against the Cleveland Browns in Canton, Ohio.

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Ismail was injured while trying to catch a pass in a morning workout.

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Doctors say Miami Dolphin linebacker Dixon Edwards can play. He says he can’t.

Edwards, 31, left the Dolphins and may sit out the season because of an irregular heartbeat.

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Defensive coordinator George Hill said Edwards’ return is a longshot. The Dolphins released him and terminated his contract, and Edwards returned the $350,000 signing bonus he received for joining Miami in June as a free agent.

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Defensive end Dimitrius Underwood might have cost himself a job with the Minnesota Vikings by failing to return to training camp as promised.

The Vikings have already acted to move on without Underwood, who signed a five-year, $5.3-million contract on Sunday. The team went to federal court in Minneapolis on Tuesday to keep Underwood from getting the more than $500,000 after-taxes bonus that was wired to his bank in Milwaukee.

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And they informed the league they had put him on the active-left squad list, meaning Underwood has until Sunday to return or his season would be finished and his salary terminated.

Underwood, a first-round draft pick, went AWOL after his first pro practice on Monday.

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The Detroit Lions released quarterback Ron Powlus to make room for Donald Hollas, a former quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.

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An expensive luxury car sought in connection with a convicted drug dealer was located after Miami Dolphin wide receiver Tony Martin turned it back to the dealership, a federal agent testified in Miami.

Martin, 33, is charged with five counts of money laundering involving the alleged drug activities of Rickey Brownlee.


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