NFL voids Rams-Haslett deal that would kick in with sixth win

Updated: October 25, 2008, 8:09 PM ET
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The NFL has voided a contract between the St. Louis Rams and Jim Haslett that stipulated if Haslett wins six games, he would become the full-time head coach after this season, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen has confirmed.

CBSSports.com first reported the story.

Rams president John Shaw said Saturday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that the league office cited the Rooney Rule when informing the Rams earlier this week, "either Tuesday or Wednesday."

"We gave them the language with the incentive bonus and they said the contract wouldn't qualify," Shaw said. "We were looking for a provision that would ensure him an extension if he won a certain amount of games."

Under the contract, which the Rams discussed with the league but never formally submitted, Haslett would have been able to keep the Rams head coaching job with six wins this season or collect a seven-figure bonus, a league official told Mortensen.

The Rooney Rule was established in 2003 to ensure that minority candidates be interviewed for any head coaching vacancy. The rule does not apply to interim hires in-season from a team's coaching staff.

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"We are 100 percent behind the Rooney Rule, the intent, the goal and the application of it," Haslett's agent, Peter Schaffer told The AP. "We will do nothing to try to circumvent that rule.

"Jim wants to do everything in his power to further the goals of the Rooney Rule, and even if it works against him that's fine."

The Rams can still hire Haslett as their full-time coach after the season but must first comply with the Rooney Rule.

Rams ownership and management felt incentives for Haslett and his coaching staff were good motivational tools to salvage an 0-4 start to the year. St. Louis has won its last two games since Scott Linehan was fired and Haslett was promoted from defensive coordinator to interim head coach.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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