Safety's foot remains a problem

Updated: September 8, 2004, 4:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ST. LOUIS -- Safety Jason Sehorn failed his physical with the St. Louis Rams on Wednesday, nullifying the free-agent contract he signed the previous night.

Sehorn, 33, missed the first six games of last season after breaking his left foot early in training camp, and never really got up to full speed. He underwent an additional operation on the foot in February and missed all of the preseason, but the foot remains a problem.

He agreed to terms on a one-year contract on Tuesday. The Rams have been trying to load up at the safety position, also signing Zack Bronson earlier this week.

Team exams are generally very subjective in the NFL and it is believed that the Rams did not believe Sehorn had sufficiently healed from offseason surgery. His rehabilitation from the surgery, coupled with indecision about his football future, kept Sehorn out of camp this summer. That inactivity aside, the Rams believed Sehorn might still contribute to their injury-depleted secondary if he was healthy.

The two sides had agreed to a contract for the league minimum base salary of $760,000 pending the physical. The former New York Giant arrived in St. Louis on Tuesday evening after several days of discussions with Rams officials.

It was not yet clear how the Rams planned to use Sehorn. The team is thin at cornerback, where he played much of his career, but Sehorn was primarily used at safety in '03.

Most teams, including the Rams, assumed during the offseason that Sehorn would retire. There was some interest from Carolina, which attempted to sign Sehorn last year, earlier in the spring, but he basically dropped off the free agent radar screen after that.

Sehorn, 33, was one of the NFL's premier athletes in his prime. Originally chosen by the Giants in the second round of the 1994 draft, the former Southern California player was a Giant until being released last spring for salary cap considerations.

He signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Rams and played in 10 games, with three starts, totaling 18 tackles and four passes defensed. In 10 seasons, Sehorn has appeared in 117 games and started 76. He has 436 tackles, 19 interceptions and 86 passes defensed.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli was used in this report.

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