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Jon Vaughn, Amp Lee sign with Rams

August 5, 1997

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) _ The St. Louis Rams, looking to bolster their depth in the backfield, signed veterans Amp Lee and Jon Vaughn on Monday.

Lee, 25, was a dependable third-down back with Minnesota, catching 170 passes for 1,348 yards and five touchdowns over the past three seasons.

His best season was 1995, when he rushed for 371 yards on 69 carries _ a 5.4-yard average _ and caught 71 passes for 558 yards. He has also played for San Francisco.

Lee was one of five Vikings running backs who were unrestricted free agents this offseason. Minnesota re-signed Robert Smith, Leroy Hoard and fullback Chuck Evans but never showed much interest in retaining Lee.

Vaughn, 27, a St. Louis native, led the New England Patriots in rushing (451 yards) in 1992, the same year he led the NFL in kickoff returns, with a 28.2-yard average. He also played for Seattle and Kansas City, but has been out of football since 1994.

Besides Vaughn and Lee, the Rams also signed Barry Stokes, an offensive guard from Eastern Michigan. Stokes, 6-foot-4 and 298 pounds, was in camp with Detroit in 1996, finished the season on Jacksonville’s practice squad and briefly was on Atlanta’s roster during the offseason.

To make room for the roster additions, the Rams cut offensive linemen Craig Novitsky and Aaron Henne, running back Don Hitson, wide receiver A.C. Tellison and punter Nate Cochran.

Cochran’s departure all but gives the Rams’ punting job to Will Brice, a rookie free agent from Virginia.

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