The Rams' charter flight to Philadelphia last Friday was held up for 15 minutes by Eric Dickerson and Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, who were rushing to the airport after the details had been ironed out on an agreement that led to an end of the running back's 47-day holdout.
Frontiere will give Dickerson his $150,000 reporting bonus and a $4 million insurance policy (which will cost the team about $40,000). But the insurance policy is a wash in terms of out-of-pocket expenses for the Rams because Dickerson has agreed to pay the Rams $47,000 in fines—$1,000 for each day he had held out. Both sides have agreed to continue negotiating a contract extension.
And what if future negotiations should reach an impasse? Says Dickerson, "I'm here to stay. I got tired of holding out. I got frustrated, angry and sometimes depressed. I got tired of working out and not playing football."
Some of Dickerson's teammates were tired of it all, too. "Coach [John] Robinson had made a big point of everybody being on time for the team plane," said offensive tackle Bill Bain. "He broke John's rules. He showed up late. I hope they fine him a Porsche or two."
Meanwhile, the other Rams blockers, upon whom Dickerson has bestowed Rolex watches and other expensive baubles in thanks for their efforts, are planning a welcome-home party for Eric.
"We've got a gift for him," said tackle Jackie Slater. "We'll give him the list of the 10 most expensive restaurants in Orange County. And we'll buy him something—the gas—and drive him there."
"...And then we'll let him pick up the check," added guard Kent Hill.
Tight end David Hill, one of Dickerson's best friends, thought of an even better gift. "How about an aerial picture of Sealy, Texas?" Hill thought about it for a moment. "Ah, that'd be just a little snapshot," he said.
Coach Marion Campbell's days in Philly may be numbered—especially if he sticks with rookie quarterback Randall Cunningham. Supposedly, Campbell has five games to get the winless Eagles on track. Standing in line for the job is Louisville coach Howard Schnellenberger, a friend of new Eagles owner Norman Braman.
Cunningham completed only 14 of 34 passes for 211 yards against the Rams on Sunday. Far worse, he threw four interceptions, was sacked five times, and in the fourth quarter, with L.A. leading 10-6, he fumbled on the Rams' 16. Nevertheless, Campbell said after the 17-6 loss that "Randall will be, without question, our quarterback." That is, if Marion is still the Eagles' coach.