Rams hope to hold onto WR Clayton with contract extension

The St. Louis Rams would like to bring back wide receiver Mark Clayton, who immediately added a downfield threat for the team before he sustained a season-ending knee injury in Week 5, the *St. Louis Post-Dispatch* reported Tuesday.

Clayton, who was obtained in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens just days before the season opener, had 23 catches for 306 yards and two touchdowns and quickly meshed with rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.

To that end, the Rams and Clayton's agent, Jim Steiner, have begun discussions about an extension. Whether a deal gets done before the NFL's collective bargaining agreement with the players union expires March 3 remains to be seen.

"We've had dialogue with Mark really since the time he got here," Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president for football operations, told the newspaper. "He came on a one-year deal. We've had good discussions and we'll continue to have discussions with Mark and his agent throughout.

"He's certainly a candidate to get an extension done before the deadline. But if he doesn't, that wouldn't change our opinion on wanting him back."

Steiner said Clayton is progressing in his rehabilitation from the patellar tendon injury.

"He's doing extremely well," Steiner said. "He'll be 100 percent, and be fine. I don't know exactly when he'll be at full, full, full, speed. I don't want to speak out of turn, but I think it's somewhere at the end of March, something like that, or in April."

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