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All NFL teams are footing the bill for St. Louis’ lawsuit against Rams

5/25/2022 2:26:43 PM
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The Rams and NFL paid $790 million last year to settle a lawsuit with St. Louis over the team’s relocation to Los Angeles.

Now, the league is sorting how to cover that bill and already has spread some of that staggering expense between all 32 teams — meaning everyone is on the hook for at least several million. Owners discussed this at their annual spring meeting, which concluded Tuesday, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to a report by The Athletic, the NFL already has taken $7.5 million from each club by deducting that amount from revenue-sharing payments. If the 31 other teams contribute that amount, that’s $232.5 million, or roughly a third of the settlement. The Times confirmed that the teams were assessed those payments, although not the specific amount.

It’s a hotly contested dispute among the teams, because Rams owner Stan Kroenke was required to sign an indemnification agreement as part of his deal to relocate the team. The owners of the Chargers and Raiders signed identical agreements to cover the “costs, including legal fees and other litigation expenses” to defend challenges to their respective moves.

While the Rams were touting their stadium in Inglewood, the Chargers and Raiders joined forces to back a competing proposal in Carson. The Rams contend that the competing teams outlined for St. Louis officials why the Rams weren’t in compliance with the relocation guidelines, which eventually was at the heart of the St. Louis lawsuit.

It’s Kroenke’s contention that if people within the league provided St. Louis with a blueprint of how best to sue the Rams, he shouldn’t be responsible for shouldering the entire settlement.

The issue isn’t expected to be resolved anytime soon.

“The owners are taking their time to discuss and deliberate this very important issue,” said Marc Ganis, a sports financing expert. “So whatever comes out of it will be the result of a lot of thought and discussion.”

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