Last week, Rams fans in St. Louis received a bit of good news when league commissioner Roger Goodell noted that the efforts to keep the Rams in the Gateway City by building a new stadium on the riverfront had made “tremendous progress.” Although financing plans still need to be worked out, a number of football scribes, like Ben Volin of The Boston Globe and Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wonder how Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the league itself could justify moving the Rams to Los Angeles if St. Louis comes through with funding for a new stadium before the team’s current lease with the Edward Jones Dome expires.
That question becomes particularly relevant if the Carson plan, in which the Raiders and Chargers would share a stadium in LA, continues to gain momentum. As Miklasz points out, the Carson proposal would allow the league to solve its “California problem” inside California without having to move a franchise from another region. Furthermore, the Chargers and Raiders have been waiting for a new stadium for years, while the Edward Jones Dome is comparatively new.
But Miklasz is keeping his optimism in check, because the NFL has refused to confirm that a new stadium will assure St. Louis of a place in the league. The city has gone to great lengths to keep the Rams in St Louis, as they have committed to constructing a new, $985MM stadium while still paying off the cost of building the Edward Jones Dome, and the league has repeatedly stated that it strongly prefers to keep each team in its current market. And yet, without the NFL’s public commitment that the riverfront project, if successful, would keep the Rams in place, Miklasz writes that the whole ordeal becomes a question of honor. And honor is one department in which the league sometimes falls short.
Now let’s take a look at a few more links from the league’s West divisions:
- Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets that there will not be three teams in Southern California until the Chargers‘ stadium situation is resolved in some way. As Breer notes (via Twitter), it is possible that, if the Chargers reach a deal to stay in San Diego, the Raiders and Rams could share the Inglewood stadium, which is designed to house two teams.
- On a less serious note, Chargers superfan Dan Juaregui, otherwise known as the costumed “Boltman,” has contacted an attorney about the possibility of filing an antitrust suit against the NFL on behalf of Chargers fans if the Chargers should relocate to Los Angeles. While the attorney himself noted that such a suit would be feasible, Kristina Davis of The San Diego Union-Tribune, citing Chargers counsel Mark Fabiani, says the city gave up its right to sue the league over relocation in its stadium lease.
- Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times summarizes former agent Joel Corry’s analysis of Russell Wilson‘s contract negotiations with the Seahawks. Our Luke Adams wrote a piece on Corry’s original article several days ago.
- Jayson Jenks of The Seattle Times describes the difficulty opposing defenses will have to face when confronted with the Seahawks‘ triple threat of Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and one of the biggest prizes of the offseason, Jimmy Graham.
- Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post looks at the value and versatility that newly-acquired defensive tackle Vance Walker, who was used sparingly with division rival Kansas City, brings to the Broncos.