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Pace to Giants rumour

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Talks not in substantive stage

By Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Perhaps frustrated by the continued inability to strike a long-term contract agreement with Orlando Pace, the St. Louis Rams have discussed with New York Giants officials a trade involving the perennial Pro Bowl left offensive tackle.

Pace

The talks have not yet moved to the substantive stage and it remains a long shot that the Rams would deal Pace, who they selected with the first overall pick in the '97 draft. But trades are back in vogue suddenly in the NFL, even deals including high-profile players such as Pace, so the Rams-Giants dialogue could eventually produce results.

New York is attempting to upgrade an offensive line unit that has been a problem area in each of the last two years. Dealing a player the stature of Pace would be a hard swallow for the Rams, who are also in the rebuilding stage on the offensive line, but could mean an end to some of the offseason headaches the premier tackle has provided in the past.

This marks the third consecutive year in which the Rams designated Pace a "franchise" player, and he failed to participate in organized offseason activities the first two years, and missed virtually all of training camp. Pace ended up signing the one-year qualifying offer for a "franchise" tackle each of those years.

The "franchise" marker this year carries a price tag of $8.4 million and St. Louis, as was the case in 2003 and 2004, would prefer Pace sign a long-term contract. But Pace does not have an agent, appears to be in no hurry to retain new representation, and could well boycott offseason workouts again this spring.

Representatives from both teams, here for the annual predraft combine sessions, declined to address the trade talks.

It is uncertain what kind of package the Giants could offer that might interest St. Louis management. Some league people have suggested that current New York left offensive tackle Luke Petitgout might be included. Others contend that the Giants would like to retain Petitgout and move him to right tackle if Pace was acquired.

Even coming off an uneven 2004 performance, Pace, 29, is universally regarded as one of the premier left tackles in the league.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

Now if the Rams are looking to move Pace we should be a player in this discussion-Luke Pettigout as a package for Pace?

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Petitgout is an AWFUL Left Tackle who is forced to play there due to Ernie Accorsi's devout belief in not drafting linemen high in the draft (Petitgout, ironically was a reach first round pick out of Notre Dame). If the Giants don't shore up the left tackle spot, they will not win 6 games this year, and Eli Manning will get killed again. The beating Eli took last year was ridiculous, and the only positive thing you could say about Eli from last year was that he toughed it out without complaining.

Getting Pace would be a major step in the right direction for the Giants, but I doubt it comes off. Accorsi cannot handle transactions like that because it knows it makes it looks like he's panicking.

One other factor--Pace is NOT the player he was three years ago. While he's still a top-5 tackle, he has really lost a step and gets beat by top speed rushers. The Giants are in a tough spot--they need Pace, but he's probably not worth the dime.

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Are these rumors finally dead?  Is it safe for me to exhale now?

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