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UCLA Placekicker John Lee Agrees to Sign Four-Year Cardinal Contract for $900,000

July 28, 1986|SCOTT OSTLER

John Lee, UCLA's record-breaking kicker, has agreed to terms with the St. Louis Cardinals and will sign a contract today for $900,000 over four years, reportedly the largest long-term contract ever for an NFL kicker.

Lee was born in Korea and will become the first native of Southeast Asia ever to play in the NFL. He became a naturalized American citizen last year, the day before the USC-UCLA football game.

Lee was the Cardinals' second-round draft choice and the 32nd player picked overall in the draft, the highest a kicker has been drafted since 1979.

"John is very excited about the prospects of playing football for the Cardinals," said Lee's agent, Leigh Steinberg. "But he is also excited about the opportunity to serve as a role model for Asians, and he feels very proud of being part of a large Korean community in Los Angeles."

Lee will donate a portion of his salary to the Korean Youth Center in Los Angeles, will establish a scholarship fund at Downey High School, where he graduated, and will donate $100 for each successful kick to a charity in St. Louis.

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