With all the big dollars being thrown around in the Rams’ move to Los Angeles, it’s easy to overlook the cost being paid by those with far less at stake — the Rams players.
While teams are responsible for moving costs and relocation expenses under the collective bargaining agreement, the Rams are also faced with the reality of moving to a market with much higher costs of living.
Former NFL kicker Matt Stover went through it when the Browns moved to Baltimore, and after losing his shirt in a real estate deal, thinks players deserve to be compensated.
“We weren’t ready for it, we had no control over it and we were under contract, so we were obligated to go,” Stover said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “I’m hoping the Rams organization will take care of their players. There should be a financial package for the players moving to L.A.”
Stover was the Browns union rep at the time of the move in 1996, and lost thousands when he sold his house. He said the organization didn’t repay any closing costs or realtor fees for the players who made the decision to settle down in Cleveland.
“There’ll be a considerable difference in net money or the ability for players to save while they’re living in the market,” Stover said.
And while there are some free agents who will be enticed by the bright lights of Hollywood and the weather, there will also be some who balance the costs of real estate and might be turned off. But for existing Rams players, there’s little choice.