This week, I posted a question on this site asking when you became a Rams fan and in addition to hundreds of comments on Turf Show Times, we also got many dozens of replies on Twitter. Including from former Rams quarterback Jim Everett.
When did Everett become a Rams fan? When they traded for him and gave him his first signing bonus, of course, which was in 1986. They also didn’t have the technology at the time to pay him his signing bonus in one lump sum.
It took 12 checks, actually.
In 1986 when the s paid me 12 checks at $99,999.99 because six digits is all their accounting machine went up too. #SigningBonus— (@Jim_Everett) May 31, 2023
Still looking for those 12 cents too!
Jim Everett’s story of how he got to the NFL is unique and not one you’ll often see, if ever again. He was the third overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, selected two spots behind Bo Jackson but not by the L.A Rams. Everett was chosen by the Houston Oilers, but with Warren Moon already under center, the Oilers may not have had enough motivation to actually make sure they could sign the rookie signal caller.
Instead, Houston went looking for a trade and eventually they got the L.A. Rams to bite: Two first round picks, a fifth round pick, guard Kent Hill, and defensive end William Fuller.
The move worked out pretty good for the Rams. Hill would only play two seasons in Houston before retirement. Fuller did have a very good NFL career but had been playing in the USFL when L.A. traded his rights, two years after selecting him in the supplemental draft. The 1987 first rounder was 20th overall (Haywood Jeffires) and the 1988 first rounder was ninth overall (traded for defensive end Sean Jones).
Certainly, the Oilers did well for themselves in the trade, especially since Everett was never going to play for them. Jim Everett led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1988 and 1989 and went to the Pro Bowl in 1990.
But it looks like what Everett most remembers is how he was paid in 1986: 12 individual checks for $99,999.99 each because the accounting department literally couldn’t create a check for $100,000, let alone for $1.2 million.
Everett re-signed in 1990 for six years and more than $2 million per season. I assume at that point the accounting department got new check machines.