So, it makes ideal sense that the Rams moved so quickly to exercise his fifth-year option.
The suit claims that it wasn't long afterward that Kroenke began plotting a move, despite public comments from him and team executive Kevin Demoff that the Rams hoped to remain in St. Louis for the long term. Meanwhile, the city says it was already prepping to build a new stadium complex that was estimated to cost more than $1 billion and would have added thousands of jobs to the area.
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Since the Rams move, the San Diego Chargers announced their relocation to the Los Angeles market for the coming season. A spokesman for the league, Brian McCarthy, said it worked diligently with local and state officials in a process he calls "honest and fair".
The plaintiffs said the loss of the Rams hurt the city and region and benefited the league and its owners, who received a $550 million relocation fee, the lawsuit said.
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Ironically, that out clause was negotiated into the original lease as part of the deal to lure the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis. Another suit filed by the regional sports authority seeks to keep the Rams from obtaining the team's former practice facility in St. Louis County for $1 in 2024, as spelled out in the team's original lease. It also claims the departure of the Rams has resulted in in hotel tax, property tax, and sales tax revenue.
The Los Angeles Rams exercised the fifth-year contract option on defensive tackle Aaron Donald for the 2018 season Wednesday.
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By exercising the option now, the Rams buy themselves sufficient time to work out a long-term extension with their best player. After all, St. Louis watched its third National Football League franchise leave its city limits - and the second in less than 30 years, with the Cardinals' move to Arizona and the Rams leaving last year - and nearly certainly will never host another National Football League team.