The Rams apparently are staying in St. Louis. In one very specific, self-serving way.
Per a league source, contracts being offered to new players state that the laws of Missouri, not California, control the relationship. The NFL Players Association has in turn instructed all certified contract agents to reject that term as “inappropriate.”
Other language in the contract makes the purpose of this strategy clear. The Rams hope to nudge any workers’ compensation claims away from California and into Missouri.
From the contract: “The parties hereto acknowledge that this Player Contract has been negotiated and executed in Missouri; that should any dispute, claim or cause of action (collectively ‘dispute’) arise concerning rights or liabilities arising from the relationship between the Player and the Club, the parties hereto agree that the law governing such dispute shall be the law of the State of Missouri. Furthermore, the exclusive jurisdiction for resolving Workers’ Compensation related claims shall be the Division of Workers’ Compensation of Missouri, and the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act shall govern.”
The NFLPA strongly disagrees. “We believe that any reference to the state of Missouri is inappropriate since the Rams have relocated to California as evidenced by the fact that they have changed their name on their website to the Los Angeles Rams, are prepared to hold off-season workouts and training camp in California, and will practice and play their home games in California in 2016,” the union says in the memo to all agents.
It’s a gutsy move by the Rams, for a variety of reasons. Apart from trying to keep workers’ compensation claims out of a forum that universally is regarded as grossly pro-employee, the Rams hope to impose burdens on the administrative mechanisms of the state they have now abandoned.
Here’s the bottom line. If you move to California, you accept everything that goes along with it. And if there’s something about it you don’t like, don’t move there.