NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman became the in-house point man for the league’s return to Los Angeles. He emerged, as chronicled in a lengthy item from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta, Jr. of ESPN the Magazine, as a perceived supporter of the Stan Kroenke’s desire to move the Rams to L.A.
Grubman apparently also surfaced within the league’s rumor mill, as noted in the ESPN article, as a candidate to land a cushy gig with the Rams after they return to L.A. The ESPN article calls the rumors “persistent,” creating a belief by some that Grubman was an “agent for Inglewood.”
Via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Grubman takes umbrage at the notion he’ll land with the Rams.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Grubman said two days before the Super Bowl, via Thomas. “I was personally insulted by that. I don’t like that implication or insinuation. It could not be further from the truth.”
The overall dynamics remain unusual. The ESPN article reports that Grubman at one point submitted a bid in the blind auction that resulted in Kroenke securing the land on which the new Rams stadium will be built. Which placed Grubman (or whoever he was representing in that stage of the process) at odds with Kroenke.
Now that Grubman has helped Kroenke leave for L.A., perhaps Grubman can help someone else return to St. Louis.
“I think it’s all about what St. Louis wants,” Grubman told Thomas. “If St. Louis wants to be an NFL city, they’ve got a hell of a chance of being one. If they don’t, or they’re ambivalent about it, then it’s a lot tougher.”
Ultimately, it comes down to how deep the politicians are willing to dig in the public coffers. Or, as in the case of Kroenke and the Rams, whether an owner is hell bent on moving his team to St. Louis, even if he has to pay for the stadium himself.