A month ago, Adam Timmerman did not know what city he would spend his time in. Columbia probably was not high on the list of potential sites.
Timmerman, 32, an offensive guard with the St. Louis Rams for the past five seasons, visited Columbia’s Rock Bridge and Stadium Wal-Marts on Tuesday as part of a promotional tour.
Timmerman, 6 feet 4 and 310 pounds, has been in the NFL for nine years. He has missed one start in the past eight seasons.
He signed autographs and shook hands with Columbia fans.
“This isn’t some place I would normally just go and be noticed,” Timmerman said. “I still get a kick out of seeing people and the kids. During the year, we don’t get a chance to do that because we’re so focused on what we’re doing, but it’s nice to see people and talk to people.
“As far as the kids go, I want them to know that we’re just real people and we’re doing our job.”
Taylor Zakrewski, 12, was one of the first fans in line to see Timmerman.
“I came to get an autograph,” Zakrewski said. “My favorite player is Marshall Faulk, but I love all the Rams.”
Timmerman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, wrapped up negations with the Rams in March, agreeing to a five-year deal.
The team did not disclose terms of the contract, but ESPN reports the deal is worth about $2 million a year.
Timmerman said he was relieved to have his contract settled.
“When it got down to just a few days before free agency starting, I thought maybe we were going to have to start thinking about a ‘For Sale’ sign in the front yard,” Timmerman said. “I was really happy when they came through and we got together with an agreement. I think that’s going to take me through retirement so I’m happy about that.”
The future of the rest of the Rams’ offensive line is undecided. The Rams lost tackle John St. Clair and guard David Loverne to free agency. St Clair left for Miami and Loverne went to Detroit. Franchise player Orlando Pace is working out the details of his contract.
“We’re hoping Orlando will be back at left tackle,” Timmerman said. “I know (the Rams) are holding out a certain amount of money to try and get him signed still.
“Hopefully, they get it settled and both people are happy, and we get to do what’s best for the team, which is going out and getting other positions filled.”
Whom the offensive line will protect is another point of contention. The quarterback controversy between Marc Bulger and Kurt Warner has yet to be decided, and the recent signing of Chris Chandler has fueled further speculation.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Timmerman said. “I hope they get it settled so whether its Kurt or Marc, they know they are going to be there and they can develop the confidence and work with the first team receivers. That’s something Marc didn’t have a chance to really do last year.”