The Morning After STL

Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole Talks NFL, Los Angeles and Rams’ Future

Brendan Marks, Tue, 19 May 2015 15:27:00 GMT

The topic of Los Angeles and relocation is at the forefront of NFL conversation this week as the league’s 32 owners meet in San Francisco for their annual May meetings.

Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, who’s there all week, jumped on The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Tuesday to discuss what he’s hearing on the latest developments and the Rams’ future.

We’ve transcribed some notable excerpts from the interview. Listen to the whole thing below.

San Diego proposed their stadium project yesterday. What do you make of it?

“The simple analysis will show the Chargers are not going to go for this deal. (They have to deals going). They have the Carson deal, which is their leverage point against the city of San Diego. But that leverage point is becoming more and more a reality. That’s the direction they’re ultimately going to go because San Diego is so far behind where they need to be. The one thing that helps San Diego in all of this…something you can’t quantify…is that (Chargers owner) Dean Spanos truly loves San Diego. The question is at what price is he willling to stay and at what price is he willing to go?”

What about the Raiders’ situation?

“The Raiders’ proposal is not really gaining any traction. At the end of the day, Mark Davis is not in a position where he can simply demand…he’s cash-strapped. He doesn’t have the kind of money (Rams owner Stan Kroenke) has to uproot his team. He’s going to need a lot more help. That’s why I always said if the Raiders are going to move to LA, they’re going to go as the number two team (either with the Rams or Chargers).”

What about the prospect of the Raiders coming to St. Louis?

“I think that’s way down the line. I don’t think that’s a really likeable scenario for the NFL. The NFL values St. Louis as a market. What works against them is Kroenke has the money and wants to move. Here’s the thing that’s bad for St. Louis: You get treated as a hand-me-down city. That’s not really good for marketing long-term.”

There have been reports the Rams could possibly stay and Kroenke would own a different team. What team would he own?

“Dean Spanos is not selling. The one team you have to think is in play is the Raiders. We’ll all find out what happens when Mark Davis’ mom passes away and what the inheritance tax looks like and what the burden is and whether he can keep the team or not.”

Seems like St. Louis has made the most progress toward building a new stadium, yet the Rams are the most likely team to be moving. Fair statement?

“I think the Chargers are the most likely to move. I think the Rams are the ones to put the most pressure on anybody. I always said…Stan is a leverage guy. If he can leverage enough out of St. Louis to get them to pay enough of the bill, that might be attractive enough for him. Out of the three cities, San Diego is the one least tied to its team (because of the great location). The identity of San Diego is not tied in to the Chargers. The identity of the Raiders is tied in to Oakland very strongly. And the identity of St. Louis is tied in to generally in sports. Having a football team is very important to them for municipal interests as well besides just the entertainment value.”

Here’s the complete segment:

Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole Talks NFL, Los Angeles and Rams’ Future