Ram owner threatens NFL because of St. Louis lawsuit and connection could be out billions if he follows through

Ram owner Stan Kroenke probably won’t be a very popular person at the next meeting of NFL owners and that’s because he basically issued a threat that could end up costing the other 31 owners billions of dollars if he follows it.

The NFL and the league’s 32 owners are currently the defendants in a lawsuit that revolves around the Rams’ decision to leave St. Louis. The lawsuit, which was originally filed by the city of St. Louis, St. Louis. Louis and the Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority until all the way back in 2017 are currently scheduled to go to trial on January 10th.

With the NFL facing the reality of a court date that is now less than two months away, Kroenke is now doing everything possible to try to resolve the lawsuit. According to an email obtained from the Sports Business Journal, Kroenke’s representatives believe the suit can be arranged for anywhere between $ 500 million and $ 750 million (Kroenke has already offered a $ 100 million compromise, but has been turned down).

From a legal standpoint, the other NFL owners apparently feel that Kroenke should be on the hook for the entire settlement due to a compensation agreement he signed when the Rams moved out of St. Louis after the 2015 season. However, Kroenke doesn’t feel the same way away.

According to the email he sent, Kroenke threatened to make a deal in the lawsuit that would belong solely to him, meaning the other 31 teams will still have to go to trial on January 10th. The only way Kroenke won’t go. through with this threat is if the other 31 teams agree to share the cost of whatever the final settlement number ends up being.

“If we continue to receive any guarantees from the league on assignment (of damages), we will have no choice but to try to resolve the case on behalf of only the Rams and Mr. Kroenke,” the email reads, via SBJ. “We don’t want to do that. We want everyone’s participation – or some assurance from the league that a compromise will be fairly allocated. But we haven’t received that assurance so far, nor any suggestion that the league will try to settle the matter. Case and address assignment then. “

A report in late October by ESPN suggested that Kroenke is trying to back up his promise to pay the entire settlement because he does not think he is legally required to embezzle the money. Kroenke covered the legal fees in the case, but he doesn’t believe the language in the compensation agreement forces him to pay the compromise if the NFL loses or resolves the case (Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk outlined here why Kroenke actually has a strong enough legal leg to stand).

According to that same ESPN story, some owners fear that the lawsuit against them could end up in the billions of dollars if the NFL loses the case. If the NFL doesn’t agree to share the compromise with Kroenke, it’s easy to see a situation where the Rams owner enters the mediation room and offers a number less than $ 500 million to solve the case while also telling the plaintiffs they could get billions. more so when the lawsuit continues against the rest of the NFL. For example, if Kroenke settles for $ 200 million, the plaintiffs could use that as a jump-off point for possible damages from each team at trial (If all 32 teams had to pay $ 200 million, that would be $ 6.2 billion for the plaintiffs).

The lawsuit lists all 32 NFL teams (and their owners) as defendants. The lawsuit was filed because the plaintiffs feel the Rams “violated the obligations and standards governing team placements” by moving the franchise. Basically, St. Louis feels the Rams broke the NFL’s transfer guidelines when they left and the other teams are guilty because they voted to let the Rams move.

The NFL has received a blow after blow in this case, which is probably one reason why Kroenke wants to make sure the lawsuit doesn’t go to trial. Among the successes: The plaintiffs were given access to the financial records of several dignitaries in the NFL, including league commissioner Roger Goodell; owners Kroenke, Jerry Jones (Cowboys), Robert Kraft (Patriots) and John Mara (Giants); and former Panther owner Jerry Richardson. The NFL has also been fired recently trying to move the case out of St. Louis.

Unfortunately for the NFL, it won’t have very much time to decide whether to accept Kroenke’s terms. The Rams have a mediation on Nov. 23, which means the league’s owners will likely have to decide before then whether they are willing to share the cost of any possible compromise.

No matter what happens, it’s safe to say that Kroenke won’t be the most popular guy around the league for the next few years.

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