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Rams May Take Look at Favre : Pro football: Green Bay quarterback is given a "conditional" $20-million, five-year contract offer.

March 05, 1994|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — John Shaw, Ram executive vice president, said Friday the team has made a "conditional" $20-million, five-year contract offer to Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre.

"It's conditional on whether we decide to bring him here next week for a visit," Shaw said. "We haven't invited him yet, but we told his agent that if we do, it will be to try and sign him."

The Rams, however, are not expected to invite Favre here next week. They are working hard to sign Atlanta quarterback Chris Miller, and while they will meet with Phoenix quarterback Chris Chandler Monday, Miller has been moved to the top of the team's wish list.

"I don't know about Chris Miller," said Bus Cook, Favre's agent. "But we believe we have an offer from the Rams. It's not a written offer, but obviously the Rams know an offer has been made.

"We talked about the offensive setup there and Brett is looking forward to playing in that system."

Cook said Friday that he not only expects Favre to visit Rams Park next week, but that the family has met, discussed the team's offer and has pronounced it agreeable.

Cook said the Rams' offer includes annual base salaries of $3 million plus a $5 million signing bonus. The signing bonus, Cook said, is prorated over the length of the contract at $1 million per year.

Cook told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the Rams had presented Favre with an offer sheet and that the offer had been verified through the NFL office. However, Cook said Friday that the Rams had not yet put their offer in writing.

"An offer has been tendered, but we don't have a written offer," Cook said. "We still have to get down to the finer details, but the numbers they offered us are very much in the ballpark."

Cook denied that he's using the Rams to force the Packers or the Saints, who met with Favre recently, into making an offer for Favre. He said Favre is sincerely interested in the Rams.

"Obviously it helps us that there's numbers out on the table, numbers that we have been looking for," Cook said. "But Green Bay has not made an offer yet and New Orleans made an offer for Bubby Brister. We're looking at the Rams.

"We haven't set a date for coming there, but we're supposed to call the Rams Monday."

Coach Chuck Knox said, "We're still in the process of evaluating the quarterbacks and that process has not been completed. We have some other quarterbacks coming in next week."

The Rams will look at Chandler, and have talked about meeting with Brister. They have also been in contact with Kansas City quarterback David Krieg.

If the Rams tendered an offer sheet to Favre and the Packers opted not to match it, the Rams would have to surrender their first- and third-round selections in next month's NFL draft. In addition to losing two top picks in the draft, the team would have to spend a great deal of money for Favre's services, thereby causing problems under the NFL's new salary cap.

Miller will come cheaper to the Rams and cost them nothing in draft picks. Miami quarterback Scott Mitchell was offered $3.2 million a year by Minnesota, and the Rams aren't sure he has recovered sufficiently from a shoulder injury to warrant such money.

"It all depends on whether we are interested in Miller, Mitchell or Favre," Shaw said. "I don't know where Chuck's mind is right now and where we're going with the quarterbacks. I would expect the coaches to tell me what makes the most sense for us to do.

"If we decide to bring Favre here, and assuming he passes the physical and gets along with everybody, we would try to sign him. But we're just not sure we're going to invite him out."

Jay Zygmunt, Ram senior vice president, left Anaheim Thursday night for Northern California to meet with Frank Bauer, Miller's agent. The team would like to look at Chandler before signing Miller, but Ram officials did not rule out the possibility that a deal might be done this weekend.

The Rams did not have Miller high on their list of prospective quarterbacks because they expected him to fail the team's physical examination. Miller, however, not only passed the exam, but left physicians impressed with his recovery from a pair of surgical procedures on his left knee.

The Rams met with Kansas City linebacker Lonnie Marts Friday, and the team is expected to make a financial pitch to the outside linebacker next week.

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