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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Russell White Cut After Reporting

July 22, 1994|T.J. SIMERS

Running back Russell White reported to the Rams' UC Irvine training camp site Thursday only to be told to keep his bags packed.

The Rams released White, who was selected in the third round from California a year ago, to make room for former Arizona Cardinal running back Johnny Bailey.

White rushed two times for 10 yards last season and failed to impress the coaching staff in off-season workouts.

"If you put him at tailback and give him the ball I think he could do just fine, but we have Jerome Bettis there," Coach Chuck Knox said. "I think he can play, but he didn't do anything for us on special teams and we have a number of good backs here."

Bailey comes in as the Rams' No. 1 punt and kickoff returner. He also has the ability to work on third downs in obvious passing situations in relief of Bettis.

The Rams tried to sign Bailey several months ago, but he was asking for more than $1 million. He agreed Thursday to a one-year contract for $162,000, which will escalate to $200,000 if he makes the final roster.

The Rams also released punter Jeff Buffaloe.

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Tackle Wayne Gandy, the team's No. 1 pick, and his agent Neil Schwartz were flying to Orange County Thursday night in an effort to break a deadlock in contract negotiations. The Rams begin two-a-day workouts today.

Gandy has been asking for a four-year deal, while the Rams have countered with a five-year offer.

"We would be willing to do a one-year, two-year or three-year deal, too," said Jay Zygmunt, Ram senior vice president. "But we won't do a four-year deal."

At issue is Gandy's status at the expiration of his contract. A four-year deal would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. Anything short of four years will allow the Rams to maintain their rights to Gandy. A five-year deal would potentially tie him up for six years because of a change in the collective bargaining agreement that kicks in during 1999.

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Darryl Ashmore, who is pegged to start at right tackle, is close to reaching an agreement on a contract. . . . Defensive tackle Marc Boutte fell ill Thursday and will not participate in today's workouts. . . . The Rams will practice in T-shirts and shorts this morning and shoulder pads and shorts this afternoon. The Rams intend to reduce the amount of physical contact in this year's camp to prevent injuries. The salaries for injured players count against the salary cap, and in some cases players will have to be cut to sign new players to replace injured ones. . . . Running back David Lang (knee) has been cleared to practice once a day, but a sore knee will keep wide receiver Todd Kinchen on the sideline.

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