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FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Gandy Signs, Sleeps on It

July 24, 1994|T.J. SIMERS

Rookie tackle Wayne Gandy signed a five-year deal for $5.15 million Saturday morning, and then begged off afternoon practice to rest at a nearby hotel.

The Rams advised Gandy, who is their No. 1 draft pick and projected to start at left tackle, that it was important for him not to skip any workouts.

But Gandy, on the advice of his agent, Neil Schwartz, decided Friday night that he would sign Saturday and catch up on his sleep after making a late-night flight here Thursday.

The Rams, while happy to have Gandy under contract, were not pleased with his immediate decision to nap. Instead of appearing at UC Irvine for a news conference, the team told Gandy to stay away from training camp and talk with the media by telephone.

"He's human," said Schwartz, who attended the afternoon practice. "You don't know how draining the past two days have been."

Gandy will receive a $2 million signing bonus and yearly salaries of $420,000, $525,000, $630,000, $735,000 and $840,000.

"We had to give a little," Gandy said before retiring. "More than we expected, but the money is right and we think we came out on top."

Gandy missed the opening of camp because he had demanded a four-year deal, while the Rams insisted on five years. The Rams declined to say who came out on top, but Gandy signed for five years.

"I'm just glad to get him," Coach Chuck Knox said. "I was told he had some things to take care of and he will be here (this morning)."

Gandy will be assigned to the opposition's best pass rusher each week if he lives up to expectations, and will open against Arizona's Clyde Simmons.

"Everybody starts out as a rookie and it's time for me to grow up," Gandy said. "I just might have to grow up a little earlier than other rookies."

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