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Owners may vote on Rams sale Wednesday

NFL owners will gather Wednesday in Atlanta for a brief, half-day meeting during which they may vote on Stan Kroenke’s bid to buy the St. Louis Rams and on whether to move forward with adding two games to the regular-season schedule.

The owners will also get an update on the season’s kickoff week plans, and they likely will hear a status report on the ongoing, contentious labor talks with the players union.

Kroenke and the NFL have been negotiating for the better part of five months since he executed an option to buy the 60 percent of the Rams he does not own. The league appears ready to bend on its cross-ownership rule that would have prevented him from buying the Rams because he owns the NBA and NHL teams in Denver. He is proposing to transfer those teams to his children. More at issue now are concerns the league has with his proposal to structure the Rams acquisition in two parts, leaving the current team owners with a stake. It’s unclear whether the deal will be ready for a vote, but a source last week said progress had been made on several issues.

On the talk of an expanded season, even if the owners do vote for an 18-game schedule, their approval would not set the issue in stone. Future agreements with broadcasters and the players union would still be needed before the owners’ approval would take effect.

The idea the NFL has suggested in the past is to add two regular-season games and drop two preseason games. Such plans could become fodder in the heated labor negotiations, with the collective-bargaining agreement set to expire in early March.

After this week, the owners are next scheduled to meet in Charlotte on Oct. 12.

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