<
>

Rams required to pay players' relocation expenses for L.A. move

The NFL owners spent a good portion of this week sorting out the matter of the Rams (and likely the Chargers) moving to Los Angeles. The NFL's players and their union are watching this process closely as well.

"The union expects that all working conditions in Los Angeles for the players will be up to the expected standards," NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said this week.

The National Football League Players Association is curious to see what the league does for a temporary site for the Rams and any other team moving to Los Angeles. The union will ask the league about locker rooms, field conditions (both playing and practice fields), travel arrangements, training camp sites ... anything that could affect the players' day-to-day lives and work.

Also, according to Article 36 of the collective bargaining agreement, a team that moves is required to pay players' relocation expenses. So Rams players will have their moving costs taken care of. The CBA specifically says players who "establish permanent residence" in the new city prior to the first regular-season game are eligible for the paid moving expenses, but Atallah said the standard for that was basically that you need to have U.S. mail delivered to your address in the new town, and the union is not concerned about moving expenses being an issue.

A couple of bigger-picture items related to Los Angeles relocation are on the union's radar, including the issue of stadium credits. The CBA allows owners to take a portion of revenue off the top of the pool (i.e., before they share it with the players) to help cover new stadium construction. According to the union, the league has used up all of the stadium credits it was allotted by the current CBA and, if it requires them to help build the new stadium in L.A., those would have to be negotiated with the players.

It's also possible that the relocation of the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles could affect the overall revenue pool, especially if there are escalators in the league's TV contracts that trigger in the case of the Los Angeles market being added. If that happens, it could impact the salary cap, which under the new CBA is tied annually to league revenues.