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NFL, RAMS INCH CLOSER TO A DEAL; DISNEY AWAITS
Published April 3, 1995
Negotiations between the Rams and NFL officials hinge on the amount of PSL money the team will offer the league, according to the BOSTON GLOBE's Will McDonough. "Sources close to the negotiations" say the team has increased its original $25.5M offer to $40M, but the league wants $70M, "and has taken the stance that $40 million is not enough" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/2). Rams President John Shaw says the two sides "remain far apart financially," and that the team will file a lawsuit by April 17 if nothing is worked out at the April 12 owners meeting. Shaw held out the possibility that the Rams "could decide to pack their bags, head to St. Louis for the '95 season and tell the league: Try to stop us." Shaw: "I'm not saying that's a probability, but there's a chance of that" (Jim Thomas, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/1). THE COMMISH: In Atlanta, Len Pasquarelli writes, while settling without a court battle may look like a victory for NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, "no one should be deceived ... For one thing, the league is caving in to Georgia Frontiere, one of its least-formidable owners and a person her colleagues felt they could crack -- and possibly force to sell the team." Second, "a compromise renders the NFL's relocation guidelines ... all but meaningless. Finally, the league is once again showing its true colors. To no one's surprise, the favorite tint is green. All along, while Tagliabue hid behind flimsy excuses" -- protecting CA's fans and Fox's interests -- "the Rams situation has boiled down to money" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/2). THE MOUSE WAITS TO POUNCE: Tony Tavares, President of Disney Sports Enterprises, says Disney may be interested in an NFL team if the league approves a Rams move. Tavares: "We're waiting to see how it all shakes out. We don't want to interfere in the Rams' business" (WASHINGTON POST, 4/3).