Mike Silver of Yahoo has some tongues wagging with his article saying the Rams are for sale and that former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo is an interested party. The story isn't a fabrication but it also doesn't really break any new ground.
First, it needs to be pointed out that Mike Silver has always had an "in" with the Rams dating back to his days with Sports Illustrated. And he's as close to Marshall Faulk as anyone in the print business. Faulk is rumored to have an interest in putting together a group to buy the team. And Faulk was particularly critical of the Rams and specifically Jay Zygmunt on the NFL Network's coverage of the NFL draft last month. I'm not passing judgement or connecting dots here, I'm just giving relevant background info.
A source close to the situation tells me that the team is for sale from this standpoint---Chip Rosenbloom is fielding inquiries about a possible sale. He's not actively seeking buyers but he isn't hanging up when they call. The source tells me that nothing is even close to happening and that any potential sale would take place after the 2008 season. As for moving the team to L.A., Rosenbloom would prefer the team stay in St. Louis per his late mother's wishes. And keep in mind, both Rosenbloom and his sister Lucia Rodriguez remember very well how rough the fans and the media were on their mother in the Rams' final years in L.A. One other point here--the Rams' lease here runs through 2012 so more reason to believe nothing is imminent.
I'm told Rosenbloom and his sister will eventually sell the team because of financial limitations but that they could conceivably hang on to the team for two to three years if necessary. I'm told that Rosenbloom would prefer to sell to a buyer or buyers that want to keep the team in St. Louis. But as long as Los Angeles is without a football team, a move back there will always be in the discussion. It also helps St. Louis that minority owner Stan Kroenke is a native of this area. But I'm still told that it's not likely that Kroenke would ever become the majority owner because of his ownership interests in the NBA and NHL.
Bottom line---the team will be sold at some point. But insiders knew that as soon as Georgia Frontiere passed away. There's no reason to view Rosenbloom as the enemy here. He has to do what makes sense financially and he has no great desire to screw St. Louis over in the process.
Settle in because this may take a while. Remember how long it took for the Blues' sale to happen? And the Rams' sale price could be close to one billion dollars. That alone will eliminate many "interested parties". In the meantime, there will plenty more articles written like the one Mike Silver wrote on Yahoo.
Rams Prez John Shaw is always good about returning my phone calls but he really is out of town on vacation and unavailable. But, he isn't going to make any comment that sheds significant light on a matter as financially sensitive as this. He's too smart a businessman for that.