Cullen Bryant, who was a running back when current St. Louis Rams were in Los Angeles, died Tuesday at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo. At age 58, Bryant was under a doctor’s care before death, which was unknown to his family. No other details are available at the moment.
Bryant spent 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, who picked him in second-round draft in 1973. He played there until 1982 and then spent two years with the Seattle Seahawks. Before his retirement, he returned to the Rams for his last pro season in 1987. His career records include scoring 23 rushing and receiving touchdowns, running back kickoffs for three others, running for ,264 yards in 849 carries, and catching 148 passes for 1,176 yards. He was also on Rams 1980 Super Bowl team and ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the 31-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bryant was also known for fighting the NFL’s trading rules to remain in town. In 1975, Bryant went to court to challenge the right of then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who ordered him off the team as the Rams signed former Detroit Lions receiver Ron Jessie but did not agree on compensation the Lions asked for. Under the “Rozelle Rule” on free agents, Rozelle decided to ask Bryant to go to Detroit. But Bryant refused to take off his Rams jerseys and went to court for the issue. The result was the Rozelle Rule eventually being modified.