EXPIRED: 10/13/09 – Cullen Bryant, 58, former LA Rams fullback who, at 6-foot-1, 234-pounds, was one of the NFL’s bigger running backs. His family didn’t even know he was sick and under a doctor’s care when he passed away.
In 1975, the Rams had signed former Detroit Lions receiver Ron Jessie. Under the “Rozelle Rule” on free agents, the team signing a free agent had to compensate the team that lost the player. If the teams couldn’t agree on compensation, the commissioner had the power to award either draft choices or move players. They decided to move Bryant to Detroit.
Bryant was a family man. He had only been with the Rams for 2 years and wasn’t keen on moving to the midwest. Bryant went to federal court to challenge the right of then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to order him off the team. At the behest of Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, Bryant went to court in Los Angeles. A judge was unsympathetic to the NFL’s position during a hearing, and the league backed off several days later before a ruling could be made.
During his 13-year NFL career. He spent 11 years with the Rams and two with the Seattle Seahawks. He had a big role for the Rams in Super Bowl XIV, carrying 6 times for 30 yds and a 1-yard score and catching 3 passes for another 21 yds in what was a surprisingly entertaining battle with the Steelers.