Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Will Kroenke be King?

Next week, the NFL owners will vote on whether or not to allow Stan Kroenke to own the Rams. In the past, NFL owners have not been allowed to own an NFL team AND another professional team in a different market (Kroenke also owns the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche). But it is likely that the NFL will make an exception for Kroenke, because Kroenke already owns 40% of the Rams, and he will put his Colorado teams under his wife's name (as a technicality).

Here is how this might effect the Rams...

- Will he want to bring in his own people? Typically, new owners like to bring in their own coach and front office personnel. But since Kroenke was already 40% owner, it is possible that GM Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnualo already have his approval. If not, there could be a lot of pressure on Devaney and Spags as the season progresses.

-Free agent spending. There were not a lot of young quality free agents this past off-season, because 2010 (being an uncapped year) turned a lot of 'would be free agents' into restriceted free agents (meaning the team that signs them has to give up a pre-determined draft pick). But regardless of the lack of free agents, there should be no excuse for Fred Robbins being the best free agent signing for a team that went 1-15. The Rams' lack of free agent spending was possibly caused by the void in ownership. If Kroenke gets approved, the Rams will be very active in the free agent market in 2011 (the Rams are in great shape salary-cap wise).

-New stadium? The lease on the Edward Jones Dome requires the stadium to be a top 8 stadium in the NFL by 2015 (impossible) or else the team is free to move. It is possible a new lease can be worked out, and it is highly unlikely Kroenke has any interest in moving the team. But there will come a day where a new stadium will become a pressing issue, and Kroenke will be one of the richest owners in the NFL. Kroenke has purchased land where the old Chrysler plant use to be, this could be a possible location for a new stadium. With Kroenke's deep pockets (and possibly some tax payer dollars) a new stadium is certainly a possibility at some point in the future.       

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