While the Oakland Raiders' stadium deal continues to implode – as we’ve reported here for several months now that it would, we might add – things are not exactly all sunshine and roses in Los Angeles either, according to our sources.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s football palace will be built and will be spectacular. That is not in doubt.
But the Way We Hear It, Kroenke’s arranged marriage with Chargers owner Dean Spanos is already on shaky ground, and the rebuilding of his football team may not be in great shape either as more information leaks out about all that was wrong under Jeff Fisher.
That Spanos is not a Kroenke fan is no newsflash, but we hear the depths of the Chargers' owner’s distaste for his new partner may have been underestimated by their fellow partners.
While Jerry Jones brokered a deal that would give Kroenke the L.A. market but force him to partner with Spanos if the Chargers owner so desired, all the I’s were not dotted nor were all the T’s crossed as most assumed Spanos would find a way to stay in San Diego or perhaps even look elsewhere rather than move in with Kroenke.
According to our sources, now that the two are forced to coexist, neither side is very pleased.
One report has Kroenke telling his chief lieutenant Kevin Demoff to shave $250 million off the original $2.6 billion price tag of the stadium, entertainment and real estate project.
Sources close to the story are indicating that while the exact nature of the Rams and Chargers revenue sharing remains to be settled, Kroenke may be preparing to recoup some of his investment to offset revenues that will be shared with the Chargers.
It has also been clear to both clubs from the moment they stuck their toes in the L.A. water that a failure to field a competitive team will doom this adventure and could lead to significant embarrassment for them and the league.
We’re not sure what to expect quite yet from the Chargers football people, but in hiring the 31-year-old Sean McVay and asking him to oversee the rebuild of the Rams, Kroenke may be bringing a butter knife to a gunfight.
For starters, McVay will have to rely on holdover general manager Les Snead, whose talent acquisition over the past few seasons has been less than stellar.
One person close to the situation tells us that Snead survived after Fisher got the axe as much because Demoff knows he can control him as anything else.
More concerning is we’re told that beyond the terribly over-estimated evaluation of Jared Goff’s readiness for the NFL, a large part of the Rams failures in 2016 were due to the focus of many of the young players on the L.A. night life and lifestyle at the expense of their preparations to play on Sunday.
Another source told Pro Football Weekly that Todd Gurley, expected to challenge for the title of best back in the game after a record-setting run in the middle of his rookie campaign, may have suffered the most among the young Rams from distractions away from the field.
Can the 31-year-old first-time head coach be not only the tutor but the mentor and disciplinarian the Rams apparently need?
Let’s stay tuned on that one.