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Former UCLA quarterback Tommy Maddox returned to Southern California on Saturday when he was traded to the Los Angeles Rams by the Denver Broncos for a 1995 fourth-round draft pick.

Maddox will likely be the Rams' No. 3 quarterback behind starter Chris Miller and Chris Chandler."It feels great, it's good to be coming back to a place I've been before instead of a place that's altogether new," Maddox said. "I'm excited about getting together with the team and getting to work."

Maddox, who had refused to take a major cut in salary, said that while he wasn't actively seeking a trade, he "knew the cards were on the table."

"With the salary cap, a lot of teams aren't going to pay a backup quarterback $850,000," he said.

The Rams would not immediately release Maddox's salary for the upcoming season.

On Friday, Broncos coach Wade Phillips said that because of Maddox's $850,000 annual pay and salary-cap considerations, the team would release Maddox before Sunday's final cut deadline, unless they traded him by then.

The Denver Post reported Saturday that Maddox refused to take a cut in pay that would have reduced his salary to $200,000.

Maddox, 22, was the Broncos' No. 1 draft pick in 1992 after leading the Bruins to a victory in the 1991 John Hancock Bowl as a sophomore.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Maddox saw little regular-season action in his three seasons with the Broncos, although he was billed as Denver's quarterback of the future once John Elway retired.

His main duty during the regular season was holding for kicker Jason Elam.

In 1992, Maddox started four games and took snaps in three others. He completed 66 of 121 passes for 547 yards with five touchdowns and nine interceptions.

In 1993, he attempted one pass and completed it for one yard and a touchdown.

Recently signed free agent Hugh Millen will now be Elway's backup.

Thursday night's loss to San Diego was the Rams' ninth consecutive preseason loss and they have lost 45 of their last 64 regular-season games.

Rams spokesman Rick Smith said the trade for Maddox will "improve the whole quarterback picture."

Smith said Miller's job as starter was solid, but Maddox said he feels ready to start now.

"I don't think I can stand on the sidelines and learn anything else," he said.