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After losing in real estate, Matt Stover hopes Rams compensate players

GLENDALE, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  A reduced price sign sits in front of a house November 27, 2007 in Glendale, California. U.S. home prices plummeted 4.5 percent in the third quarter from the year before. It is the biggest drop since the start of Standard & Poor?s nationwide housing index 20 years ago, the research group announced. Prices also fell 1.7 percent from the previous three-month period in the largest quarter-to-quarter decline in the index?s history.    (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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65 Responses to “After losing in real estate, Matt Stover hopes Rams compensate players”
  1. zoellner25 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:03 PM

    How very Cleveland Browns of them.

  2. bigjdve says: Jan 18, 2016 2:07 PM

    The players aren’t obligated to move, like he said the ones effected were the ones that decide to settle in Cleveland.

    That being stated, there are many companies(not all) that help with moving costs.

    It should be interesting to see what happens.

  3. whodey420 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:07 PM

    Doesn’t sound too unreasonable. A lot of people get compensation when transferring out of state with their companies.

    Surely the owners can afford to help them out with costs
    and stuff.

  4. lsuzilla says: Jan 18, 2016 2:08 PM

    I’m supposed to feel bad for millionaires?

    Nope

  5. kdaly19 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:09 PM

    Waaaaaah are you serious Stover? Shut up

  6. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:10 PM

    Yeah, not.

    You pay the expenses of where you play and there should be not extra money or effective increase in the salary cap because of it.

    New York and San Francisco are both extremely expensive housing markets and those players don’t get bonuses or housing allowances.

    Nothing says players have to rent or buy hugely expensive places. They can rent a nice condo if they want to be cost effective but should receive zero special treatment in that respect.

  7. killitandeatit says: Jan 18, 2016 2:11 PM

    I thought the average NFL career was less than five years. I would rent.

  8. maxtng says: Jan 18, 2016 2:11 PM

    There is a reason it costs more to live in Baltimore than Cleveland.

    Stover should be thanking the Browns organization for helping his quality of life.

  9. getyourownname says: Jan 18, 2016 2:12 PM

    OK, but what’s the difference from when a player is traded?

  10. pastabelly says: Jan 18, 2016 2:13 PM

    California has high state taxes and a higher cost of living. That’s just part of living in California. Teams should not be expected to compensate for that or for the higher cost of real estate. There’s probably salary cap issues for that. As for costs to break leases, commissions on sales, and relocation, that’s fair and covered in the CBA. Given the choice, I’m sure many would still prefer LA over St Louis. If some don’t want to go to LA, it’s fair to ask for a trade.

  11. therealraider says: Jan 18, 2016 2:13 PM

    I can’t feel sorry for people that make millions of dollars per year.

  12. thevza says: Jan 18, 2016 2:14 PM

    First world problems.

  13. milwaukeeguy says: Jan 18, 2016 2:14 PM

    That’s fine but what about the non-football employees that can relocate but make a lot less than the players and coaches?

  14. raynman49 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:15 PM

    Millionaires worrying about losing a couple thousand? My heart bleeds.

  15. RavenzGunnerz says: Jan 18, 2016 2:17 PM

    Imagine the shock when they find out their pay check has been cut in a half…

  16. takingbacksundays5 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:19 PM

    It’s easy to say for an ignorant PFT poster to say “I’m supposed to feel bad for millionaires?”, but the simple fact is that there are many, many more players on NFL teams without millions of the dollars in the bank.

    Undrafted or late-round rookies still on their first contracts, practice squad players, etc.. are being uprooted and moved across the country without any say in the matter. It’s only fair that they should be compensated in some way for the hassle and market difference.

  17. dwinsgames says: Jan 18, 2016 2:19 PM

    Billionaire owners getting still richer on the move should be able to dole out a small relocation package for all employees, players included.

  18. RogerGoodell✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says: Jan 18, 2016 2:20 PM

    Why would I give a crap if some millionaire now has to pay 5 million for a mansion in LA that would have cost him $400k in STL? Maybe the NFL should subsidize breakfast, lunch, and dinner for these poor underprivileged millionaires who can’t afford to feed themselves due to the high cost of living in LA. Or perhaps the government should give these guys foodstamps to cover the increased cost of food. NEWSFLASH, most people in LA survive on 50k a year, adjust your lifestyle when you move to LA. Don’t eat out as much and don’t go “making it rain” in clubs as often as you were used.

  19. conflictedobserver says: Jan 18, 2016 2:20 PM

    Maxtng
    Baltimore has the 13th highest murder rate per capita in the US. Cleveland didnt make the top 30.
    I cant see that as an upgrade to be honest.

  20. RavenzGunnerz says: Jan 18, 2016 2:21 PM

    raynman49 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 2:15 PM
    Millionaires worrying about losing a couple thousand? My heart bleeds.
    ———————————–

    Football players are barely millionaires. If these were NBA/MLB players, then I wouldn’t be complaining. But Imagine a running back, whose career will probably be over in about 3/4yrs. he is making like net 250k/yr.

    Covering his medical bills alone….

  21. mrkbuilders says: Jan 18, 2016 2:21 PM

    Forget about the dollar signs involved. I agree with Stover. Moving costs alone are thousands, having to sell your house last minute, buy a house last minute, learn a new city/state, leave everything you know, pull your kids out of schools with all their friends. This could be devastating for families if they choose to stay in Missouri while Dad is living in LA for 6 months out of the year. What a messed up situation for the contracted players.

    I know many salaries are $100k a year but apartments rent for $2000 a month to start so to live in the suburbs around the stadium will cost significantly more. If I was early/middle of my career, I’d ask to be let out of my contract if no extra help was offered. There would be legal standing as well, I doubt the original deals involved relocation as it happens rarely in this league.

  22. wpitf says: Jan 18, 2016 2:21 PM

    Here’s an option: (since many people face this option)… If it doesn’t make sense to sell in your market, rent out your house until the sale value increases. And then rent in your new market until you are able to buy a new home. …Don’t take the loss and expect someone else to pay for your bad real estate deals!

  23. ajigel says: Jan 18, 2016 2:23 PM

    As much as I’d like to write off the players as millionaires who should be able to afford it, I can’t. Why? Because not everyone with the team is swimming in cash. Keep in mind that late round (6-7th round) guys don’t make too much, and the practice squad even less. This also goes for the other people (non-players) in the organization. Sure, the front office types have the cash to move, but equipment managers, trainers, etc probably don’t.

    It’s not unreasonable to see the owners foot the bill for some of these people, especially with LA being as expensive as it is. In this case, I’ll side against the billionaires.

  24. cashindubz says: Jan 18, 2016 2:23 PM

    Everyone keeps saying millionaires losing money isn’t a big deal, but forgets not everyone on a football team gets paid millions. Not to mention they have to move their whole family across the country whether they are renting or owned a home. Thats easily a 5 figure expense.

    Remember a billionaire made the decision to move a team because he wasn’t making enough money, lol.

  25. wahoo21 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:24 PM

    So rent a house and live in what you bought in the off season

    Why do you think the owner moved the team to LA….it’s a high rent / high income area.

    Let me ask this question….if the team moved from LA to elsewhere and a player sold his house and made a ton of money…..should he compensate the owner for the gain he received ?

    BTW- Any compensation should be in the form of a contract if playing in a high tax state like California -12.9 % vs a lower tax state like Missouri – 6 %.
    Does that make a contract voidable if the terms and conditions change and puts the player at a financial disadvantage ?

  26. jimmyt says: Jan 18, 2016 2:25 PM

    Players that already have homes and are raising families there will probably continue to live in St. Louis. Not uncommon among former St. Louis athletes at all.

  27. packergator says: Jan 18, 2016 2:28 PM

    Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

  28. samadams14 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:30 PM

    Here in lies the reason so many players don’t live where they play and instead live in Florida, Arizona, a hometown, etc- the transient nature of free agency makes buying a house a bad deal. No matter who you play for, they can’t away your home base.

    However, established players with families probably don’t want to live out of a condo, so they buy a house. Stover makes a good point that you buy a house, put down roots and your job moves on you, the company should include a relocation package. If you bought a house for $1mm and its worth $700k because of bad timing/new inventory glut and your job relocates for reasons out of your control, the team/league should compensate. Hell, the costs would be less than 1% of the relocation fee to offset losses and fees.

  29. wiseone50 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:30 PM

    Yeah, I’m sorry but they took the best contract that they could find within the whole country. That’s more than enough money to have to live ANYWHERE in the country. If you can’t afford to move then retire and get a better money manager. Boo hoo.

  30. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:34 PM

    “Maybe the NFL should subsidize breakfast, lunch, and dinner for these poor underprivileged millionaires who can’t afford to feed themselves due to the high cost of living in LA.”

    Actually they do just that. The teams feed the players huge meals when they’re on site and the players certainly get a per diem when they’re on the road. All teams do this.

  31. arktikman says: Jan 18, 2016 2:38 PM

    If the teams pay for relocation expenses under the CBA then housing and cost of living is tough beans.

    Besides, how do you administer this? One guy rents and another buys a home. Also, what did the players say when they moved from LA to StL the last time? Would they give money back? Yeah, right.

  32. getyourownname says: Jan 18, 2016 2:41 PM

    “New York and San Francisco are both extremely expensive housing markets and those players don’t get bonuses or housing allowances.”

    *******************
    Presumably players insist on a higher salary to sign there in the first place than they would accept in a lower-cost market.

    I’m not sure most commenters pooh-poohing this understand how much higher the costs really are. There have been WSJ articles recently about the extraordinarily higher real estate costs in SF area compared to the rest of he world. $1.5MM starter tear downs, $8500/month rents for 700 SF apartments. Sounds lovely. Probably just a bit higher than StL.

  33. boogerhut says: Jan 18, 2016 2:43 PM

    I live in Ca just fine on a fraction of what league minimum players make. Don’t buy a house for a job that might only last 2-4 years in that location bro. They have these things we call leases here in Ca. Shoot, I bet they have them everywhere.

  34. reprob8 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:45 PM

    this will be another line item on the next CBA & the players’ union will screw up the negotiation & relinquish something important like health care or 18 regular season games for it:-/

  35. shlort says: Jan 18, 2016 2:46 PM

    There is a good point made. The cost of living, the excessively high tax rate in California and home prices being ridiculously high should be a concern for both players and the team.

    Players have a legitimate gripe. Then again, they don’t have to play for the Rams.

  36. charliecharger says: Jan 18, 2016 2:47 PM

    Poor guy. Players have agents. That’s what they get paid for.

  37. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jan 18, 2016 2:48 PM

    Just spitballing here, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. More than likely if your company moves and you’re in a position to take a bath, you’re going to refuse a monetary offset comensating potential losses? Very generous of you but I don’t for one second believe it.

  38. conormacleod says: Jan 18, 2016 2:52 PM

    Get a roommate, like the rest of us.

  39. indymarc says: Jan 18, 2016 2:59 PM

    Late round drafts and practice team players need to rent in a good area and share a house or apartment. Cut costs by 3/4ths. Most these guys are 23-26 years old. Buy a place if you’re lucky enough to get a second contract.

    Rams need to pay some relocation costs. Already a lot of NFL players filing bankruptcy.

  40. jgedgar70 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:00 PM

    Reading some of these posts is truly sickening.

    The politicians of both parties have done a masterful job at starting and continuing a civil war in America, pitting the citizens against each other based on income status. They have convinced us that every human being that makes more money than “me” is evil, and only got that higher income through evil means, and every human being that makes less money than “me” is a leech who wants “my” money taken away from me and given to them.

    As a result, we have a sickening wealth-envy culture and de-humanize others by believing that money covers everything, and when you have a lot of money, you don’t have the right to worry about human things, like where your kids are going to go to school and the fact that the money you paid for the house in your current city will barely buy you a broom closet in the city where your company is moving.

    Then there’s this: I seriously doubt the scouts, administrative assistants, equipment managers and all the other entry-level people that work for the Rams are making millions.

    What a disgusting mindset we now have in this country…………

  41. lscottman3 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:01 PM

    Baltimore has the 13th highest murder rate per capita in the US. Cleveland didnt make the top 30.
    =============================

    Baltimore vs Cleveland, i’ve been to both, i must say Baltimore has it over Cleveland, but lets be real, they both are not exactly garden spots

  42. chawk12thman says: Jan 18, 2016 3:03 PM

    I am having a hard time feeling sorry for them given that 16,000 Walmart employees got word this same weekend that they lost their jobs due to store closures. Many of them will try to relocate to other stores and they aren’t being paid for that expense. In fact, they aren’t paid well to begin with, so they are in a much tougher situation.

    I also wonder and feel for those folks whom the team move will impact with job/wage loss in jobs supported by the NFL games in the area.

    Hard to feel bad for the players. Moving due to relocation of team or being traded is part of the job/career.

  43. jonathankrobinson424 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:03 PM

    ……St Louis is one of the lower cost area’s to leave in the US. Your tax guy & agent can’t figure out the benefits of keeping your St Louis residence & renting out your home as a investment property?…really?

  44. ballboy48 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:19 PM

    That’s Art Modell for you!

  45. tqaztec says: Jan 18, 2016 3:23 PM

    Most NFL players are not millionaires.

  46. Deb says: Jan 18, 2016 3:26 PM

    The last thing the NFL considers when deciding to move a team is the impact on the fans. The next to last thing the NFL considers is the impact on the players.

  47. mmack66 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:27 PM

    samadams14 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 2:30 PM

    However, established players with families probably don’t want to live out of a condo, so they buy a house. Stover makes a good point that you buy a house, put down roots and your job moves on you, the company should include a relocation package. If you bought a house for $1mm and its worth $700k because of bad timing/new inventory glut and your job relocates for reasons out of your control, the team/league should compensate. Hell, the costs would be less than 1% of the relocation fee to offset losses and fees.
    ———————————-

    The article said that under the CBA, the teams are responsible for paying moving expenses and relocation costs.

    It’s ridiculous to think that the team should also be responsible for covering the losses for bad real estate transactions.

  48. 4sacroc says: Jan 18, 2016 3:29 PM

    Sorry, Matt.

    In today’s market, players are lucky to have a job.

    Oh, they also are pretty well compensated.

  49. fatsolio says: Jan 18, 2016 3:34 PM

    I’m in the middle with this. I don’t think it’d hurt for the owner to cover some extra expenses like closing/realtor costs for those that wish to move but at the same time, I don’t think he is obligated to unless that is common for company owners to do for their employees. I am under the impression that companies usually just cover some moving expenses which apparently they do in the NFL.

  50. willie429 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:39 PM

    Besides the property values etc., the biggest cost for the players is the continual tax issue. Every time they play in Ca., they will be taxed much higher than in STL. (for ever). Property trades (losses & gains) can be accounted for in a three year tax period. But you will pay the high earnings tax for ever in Ca. Does that mean that salaries must be adjusted to pay the extra tax?? I don’t know.

  51. jimmysee says: Jan 18, 2016 3:48 PM

    Stan can add the No-Tell Motel to his plans for Inglewood.

    “She was checking in while I was checking out!”

  52. dexx57 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:56 PM

    Rams owner is a crook

  53. atthemurph says: Jan 18, 2016 3:57 PM

    wahoo21 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 2:24 PM

    BTW- Any compensation should be in the form of a contract if playing in a high tax state like California -12.9 % vs a lower tax state like Missouri – 6 %.
    Does that make a contract voidable if the terms and conditions change and puts the player at a financial disadvantage ?
    ——————————–

    Players are taxed where they play the games. So 8 games taxed in CA v. MO depending on the away game locations.

    However, making contracts subject to changes in tax rates? Tax rates change all the time and everywhere. That’s the risk we take electing these idiots who do nothing but spend and expect an ever increasing portion of our work value.

  54. DerekCarrsGoldenArm says: Jan 18, 2016 3:57 PM

    For all of you who are saying “Boo hoo for millionaires”, put it in this perspective:

    You’re company decides it’s moving your office out of state and since you are under contract for 3 years with them, your choices are to either quit or pick up and move. But remember, if you quit, since you are one of only a handful of experts in your field, you can’t just “find another job where you are”.

  55. briang123 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:59 PM

    I see this as a benefit to the people of California as there will be more high earners to pay the costs of social programs.

  56. genericcommenter says: Jan 18, 2016 4:02 PM

    I somewhat agree with him, but players are never guaranteed to stay in the same city for long. There are trades, people cut all the time, etc- often after settling down.

    Even in other sports that supposedly have better CBAs. Yeah, a whole team moving is a different matter, but for example:

    In the NBA, everyone knows Steve Blake and his family have lived in Portland forever and he’s at the end of the line as a player. Besides being traded away 3-4 times in the past, this off-season he picked up his modest 1 year player option “So Happy to Be Back in Portland!” then he was immediately traded.. twice, ending up in Detroit (hey, cheap real estate at least?).

    Then you have the Yankees who have a ridiculous haircut policy (fwiw I’m a lifelong fan so not a hater), among other things. They will trade for or pickup a player off waivers- especially if they played for Boston- call them up for 1 day and make them shave and get a haircut, and then release them the next day.

    Players aren’t really guaranteed anything (unless they are), and they can stay in a hotel if they have to. That said, I don’t know how anyone can sympathize with the owners in anything.

  57. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jan 18, 2016 4:08 PM

    Yes, I believe that the players who resided in St. Louis full time and now need to be uprooted and move to LA, where the cost of living is much higher should be compensated.

    Both of them.

  58. soleobjective says: Jan 18, 2016 4:19 PM

    I don’t get why anyone would buy in a league as volatile for players as the NFL. Contracts aren’t guaranteed, average career is 3-5yrs, and you can be cut at the drop of a dime. I’ll echo what everyone else and say that players should rent during their career, and buy a home where they plan on living after they hang up the cleats.

    Makes much more sense that way.

  59. natchamps73 says: Jan 18, 2016 4:36 PM

    Speaking of real estate can someone please explain to me why the Rams need a stadium with a roof??

  60. intrafinesse says: Jan 18, 2016 4:40 PM

    It will cost more to live in LA.
    But in theory you have an opportunity to make more in endorsements as well.
    And you are still making A LOT of money.

    You don’t have to sell in St. Louis, you can rent out your house and sell it later.
    And you don’t need to buy a place in LA.

    In fact, you can remain in St. Louis, have your family vacation in LA in the summer to be with you, and Sept – Dec you will be away. That sucks, but you can do it for a year while working things out

  61. tyconderoguer says: Jan 18, 2016 5:16 PM

    Since this is Roger’s deal, he should take it out of his millions from his salary and his kickback from getting a team or two to go to LA.

  62. cougar69rt03 says: Jan 18, 2016 5:45 PM

    or the ability for players to save while they’re living in the market,” Stover said.

    Are you freaking kidding me . Sounds like a Sprewell I cant feed my family crap

  63. raiderapologist says: Jan 18, 2016 9:44 PM

    A dollar for the owner, a quarter for the player, and not two cents for the hot dog vendor. I’m just guessing the beer will be more than $11. Welcome to LA.

  64. ivanpavlov0000 says: Jan 19, 2016 3:16 AM

    The only time a business pays the expenses Stover is talking about is when it’s for an executive who doesn’t need the money!

    Live in Inglewood. If members and employees of the team all move near the same location they can gentrify it and make a killing.

    And in LA … you never want to live very far from where you work. The 405 freeway doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t care who you are. It’s an equal opportunity time destroyer.

  65. justanotherfan101 says: Jan 21, 2016 1:27 PM

    How many St Louis Rams players actually owned homes in the St Louis area.

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