Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
As if rebuilding weren't hard enough, now the Rams will attempt to do it while wondering what might happen under new ownership. Is the potential sale of a franchise a big distraction? No big deal?
"I told the guys that every team in this league probably has some kind of what we call a distraction," coach Steve Spagnuolo told reporters. "The challenge with every team in this league when those pop up anywhere as a team is to just keep the blinders on, stay focused on what it is we're doing and not worry about the things we can't control. I think our guys do a good job of that."
Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has provided a transcript of the three-paragraph letter owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez sent to employees.
Paragraph two: "The operations of the club will not be affected and as long as we own the team we remain committed to keeping the Rams a vital member of the St. Louis community. Should a buyer emerge during these proceedings, we would strongly be in favor of someone with ties to St. Louis."
Miklasz's teammate, Jim Thomas, details how the Rams have changed their stance on actively seeking a buyer for the team.
Thomas: "The fact that the Rams now seem more willing to listen to potential buyers from outside the area has triggered a sense of 'here we go again' with respect to pro football in St. Louis. Beginning with the departure of the football Cardinals following the 1987 season, St. Louis went through a long gridiron angst that included a failed expansion bid in the early '90s and the luring of the Rams from Los Angeles in 1995."
For the Rams, ownership's decision to seek a buyer could wind up less distracting than incessant questions about the subject. Much depends on whether the Rams find a buyer, which buyer they find and how quickly the process goes. Playing in a smaller media market could shield the Rams from the media mayhem that might engulf the team in, say, New York.
Perhaps Spagnuolo can use the tumult and inevitable speculation to create an us-against-the-world mentality among players.