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The LA Rams Going for Their 15 Minutes of Fame

Will the team’s 2018-19 performance be a hit or considered the biggest flop in NFL history?

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Rams’ Acquisitions Can’t Go Over Budget.

The Los Angeles Rams are just the latest franchise trying to dominate the City of Angels. But in a town that’s seen it all, Owner Stan Kroenke and Head Coach Sean McVay must win now. But there may be a more subtle reason why the franchise is in such a rush. It’s all about the Benjamins. The Rams have a small window before the talent they assembled gets too expensive to keep on one team. Since the Rams moved back to California from St. Louis, the team is operating in overdrive. They built a core of young talent with QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, DT Aaron Donald, WR Cooper Kupp and acquired Robert Woods. This off-season, they’ve gone all in and addedBrandin Cooks, WR; Marcus Peters, CB; Aqib Talib, CB and Ndamukong Suh, DT; among others.

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Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib introduced as the newest Rams.

How are they doing this, where does all this money come from? Simple, Goff, Gurley, and Kupp are on their rookie contracts. Jared Goff will make approximately $7.6 million in 2018, and Gurley will earn $4.3 million. That leaves Rams’ ownership room under the cap to sign their own free agents and then add Pro-Bowl caliber veterans. By comparison, free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins just signed a three-year $84 million guaranteed ($28 million annually) contract to play for the Vikings. That kind of contract limits what other teams can do to build out their rosters. Bottom line, the Rams better win soon before they have to break up the team. All the Rams have to do is look to the Pacific Northwest and the dismantling of the Seattle Seahawks.

The Red Carpet Awaits

The NFL has been angling for a way to get back into the Los Angeles market for years. The only way that the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers would agree to leave their respective cities and fan bases is a new state-of-the-art facility. Boy, did the NFL and city of Inglewood out do themselves.

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Rendering of the proposed new LA football stadium in Inglewood, CA. Expected to be ready by 2020. Courtesy of HKS via Curbed

Reported by the real estate news site Curbed, the new stadium has a “projected cost of $2.6 billion, [and includes] the stadium, surrounding entertainment district and urban village. It would be the costliest NFL complex ever built (it could also be the most expensive for fans). At three million square feet, it will be the largest stadium in professional football. Its 120-yard video screen (dubbed Oculus) will be the biggest around.”

Plus, According to the Sports Business Journal, the Rams are seeking a minimum of $30 million per year from any company that’s willing to buy the naming rights. The Rams also want the deal to run for at least 20 years. That means any potential company bidding for the naming rights has to commit at least $600 million to the team. The stadium was expected to open in 2019, but because of record rainfall in California, the construction has been delayed and now the expected open date is in 2020.

Those expensive price tags mean that the Rams need to be a winning team immediately. Common sense tells you that major corporations don’t want to associate their likeness and image to losing organizations. More money usually means more problems. Let’s hope the pressure of expectations and profit won’t be too much for the players on the field.

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