Ram Vice President Jay Zygmunt, who does not respond to telephone inquiries, was stopped outside the Cal State Fullerton cafeteria Friday for an update on unsigned tight end Jim Price.
Price, the Rams' fourth-leading receiver a year ago, asked for $335,000 after earning $150,000 in 1992. Price said Friday that the Rams offered him $210,000 and when he didn't accept and missed the opening of training camp, they reduced their offer. He said they now want him to accept the minimum salary for a third-year player: $150,000.
When Zygmunt was asked if the team had lowered its offer, as Price claimed, Zygmunt said: "Our offer is $150,000."
The Rams, reacting to reports that the Cowboys had talked to the agent of running back Cleveland Gary, said they will notify teams throughout the NFL that they must first get permission from the Rams to conduct such discussions.
"If there's going to be any contact it has to be through us," said John Shaw, the executive vice president.
Shaw said that Gary already had his opportunity to go elsewhere under the restricted free agency guidelines and deadlines.
The Rams have offered Gary $385,000 for 1993. Zygmunt said the team will not increase that offer at this time, "because we're not going to pay players to leave."
If Gary signs a one-year deal he will be free to go anywhere next season with the Rams receiving no compensation.
The Rams will have to sign Gary to be able to trade him. Gary, meanwhile, has two options: accept the team's offer or sit out.
"He might have to play a year as a restricted free agent," said Shaw, while suggesting Gary may have no other choice but to accept the team's one-year offer.
The Cowboys called the Rams regarding a possible trade for tight end Pat Carter and the Rams said no deal. Ram Coach Chuck Knox said the Rams have an interest in a wide receiver on the Cowboys' roster, but declined to name the player.
The Rams will play the San Diego Chargers in a scrimmage at Cal State Fullerton today at 10:30 a.m.
The 80-play scrimmage will be conducted on the team's practice field rather than in the football stadium. The scrimmage is free, but the school will charge $3 for parking.