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McGrorty, Baker hang with their NFL teams

Dusty McGrorty learned his NFL fate and Steve Baker kicked a game-winning extra-point in what turned out to be an eventful weekend for former Southern Oregon University football players.

McGrorty, fighting for a roster spot with the St. Louis Rams since signing a free-agent contract April 25, thought his dream had come to an end when he was cut Saturday morning.

Then, on his way to the airport, McGrorty got a call from Rams general manager Charley Armey, who, according to McGrorty, said, Where are you? We want you back.

Soon thereafter, the release papers McGrorty signed were ripped up and the SOUs all-time leading rusher met one-on-one with Rams head coach Mike Martz.

He basically said that I had a really good future in the NFL running the football and they wanted to keep me on the practice squad, McGrorty said Saturday. That made me feel good. I was down at first. It's been a pretty emotional day for me.

— McGrorty was told he would play on special teams in the Rams' final exhibition game Thursday against the Oakland Raiders, after which he will be released.

After clearing waivers, the Rams will then re-sign him and place him on the practice squad, where McGrorty will be paid about half of the original &

36;230,000 contract he signed.

I feel pretty good about it, McGrorty said. There are five running backs (on the roster) right now, so if someone gets hurt, I would go up because four backs are activated.

As for Baker, another Raider great who graduated in June, he nailed a point-after attempt at the start of the fourth quarter Saturday, providing what turned out to be the decisive point in a 17-16 Oakland win over Arizona.

Baker, who re-signed with Oakland after being waved July 26, is Oakland's primary backup for kicker Sebastian Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler.