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Bartkowski, Fox, 4 Others Won't Be Back With Rams


Six veteran Ram free agents, including quarterback Steve Bartkowski and safety Tim Fox, have not been offered 1987 contracts and will not be in uniform for next week's mini-camp at Rams Park.

Other Rams not offered qualifying renewals include linebackers Cliff Thrift, Jim Laughlin, Mike McDonald and veteran nose tackle Charles DeJurnett.

Bartkowski's release was hardly a surprise considering his age (34), the condition of his much-damaged right knee (poor) and the future of quarterback Jim Everett (bright).

Bartkowski started six of the first seven games in 1986 but reinjured his knee in the Sept. 28 game at Philadelphia. He didn't play in the final eight games.

The Rams signed Fox in November 1985 after nine seasons with New England and San Diego. Fox, 33, was an effective player in the Rams' nickel pass defense before he suffered a groin injury against New England in Week 11 last season.

DeJurnett, 35, spent the 1986 season on injured reserve with a back injury, and his retirement was imminent. The Rams acquired him as a free agent in 1982. He played six seasons with the Chargers and two in the World Football League.

Laughlin, mostly a journeyman special-teams player, started two games at inside linebacker last season because of an injury to Carl Ekern. He led the team in tackles (10) against Atlanta on Oct. 12.

McDonald and Thrift were signed during the season as special-teams players. McDonald also snapped for punts and field goals.

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