The Sports Report: Rams, NFL reach $790 million settlement with St. Louis

Stan Kroenke
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Bill Shaikin on the Rams: The Rams and the NFL agreed Wednesday to pay $790 million to settle a lawsuit over the team’s departure from St. Louis, enabling Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the league to avoid the spectacle of a St. Louis trial next month, just before the Super Bowl at Kroenke’s showcase stadium in Inglewood.


Under the terms of the settlement, St. Louis gets the money no later than Christmas Eve, with Kroenke and the league left to decide how much of the payment should be allocated to the Rams and how much to the NFL and other owners.

The lawsuit, filed in 2017, alleged that the Rams’ move from St. Louis to Los Angeles violated the NFL’s relocation policy, under which the team and the league should have made every reasonable effort to keep the team in St. Louis. The settlement specifically says no party acknowledges any liability, a critical need for the NFL since Oakland has sued the league on similar grounds over the Raiders’ departure. Oakland lost, but an appeal is pending.

The Rams made no immediate comment Wednesday. The league said in a statement it appreciated “the effort by all parties to reach a settlement.”

In a joint statement, the mayor of the city of St. Louis and the executive of the county of St. Louis said the settlement “closes a long chapter for our region, securing hundreds of millions of dollars for our communities while avoiding the uncertainty of the trial and appellate process.” They said they were “still determining” what to do with the money.

The settlement does not include an expansion team for St. Louis. The settlement provides that 35% of the payment — $276.5 million — be awarded to the attorneys representing St. Louis.

The Rams argued that when St. Louis declined to make $700 million in improvements to the team’s stadium there, a lease provision was triggered that enabled the team to end the lease and leave town.


Analysis: Did other NFL teams secretly help St. Louis with suit against Rams?

Rams’ Matthew Stafford says playing Packers in Green Bay is a field of dreams

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


Broderick Turner on the Lakers: One of the Lakers’ stars returned just as another one of the stars was out, still leaving them incomplete with LeBron James back from his one-game suspension but playing without Anthony Davis, who was out with a fever.

But having James back seems to make the Lakers whole.

And when James delivers a monumental performance, when he’s a force that can’t be stopped, when he wills his team to win, the Lakers are better for it when the 36-year-old master is on the court with them.

His 39 points in 43 minutes 28 seconds was enthralling, lifting the Lakers to a 124-116 overtime win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night to help the Lakers return home 2-3 on a five-game trip that had many twists and turns.


John Tavares and Pierre Engvall had a goal and an assist apiece while Toronto scored four consecutive goals in the second period, and the Maple Leafs rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Kings on Wednesday night.

Alexander Kerfoot, Auston Matthews, Jason Spezza and Michael Bunting also scored as the Leafs avenged their 5-1 loss to the Kings in Toronto on Nov. 8 with their own blowout victory. Toronto scored four times in a 12 1/2-minute span of the second, and Bunting added a fifth straight goal in the third.

Engvall, who had two points in his previous 15 games, started the second-period flurry with his first goal since the season opener. He ended up with the first multipoint performance of his 111-game NHL career.

Sean Durzi had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut for the Kings, who acquired the 23-year-old defenseman from his hometown Maple Leafs nearly three years ago. Durzi set up Viktor Arvidsson’s early goal before scoring his own with 3:53 to play, putting a hard shot just under the bar.


Nazem Kadri kept up his scoring tear with a goal and an assist to lift the Colorado Avalanche over the Ducks 5-2 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.

Kadri extended his point streak to 10 games, the longest current run in the NHL. He has six goals and 15 assists during that span.

Cale Makar also scored, his fifth goal in four games, and Jonas Johansson made 19 saves in relief of Darcy Kuemper. The win was the 194th for Jared Bednar, the most by an Avalanche coach. He tied Bob Hartley on Monday night.

Colorado won despite losing Kuemper for a while to a broken skate blade. Valeri Nichushkin, Alex Newhook and Nicolas Aube-Kubel also scored for the Avalanche.


Jeff Miller on the Chargers: They will meet Sunday for the first time as head coaches, Brandon Staley and Vic Fangio matching up when the Chargers visit Denver.

No matter what happens in this key AFC West showdown, it won’t be the pair’s most monumental meeting, Fangio the one who gave Staley his start in the NFL in 2017 when he hired Staley in Chicago.

“During the interview, he didn’t say anything to me,” Staley recalled Wednesday. “It was a really tough deal because I’m not getting any feedback on what’s going down in this interview. I mean, silence. Nothing.

“He’s the type of guy no expression, nothing. I have no idea how I’m doing. I’m trying my best. I feel like I’m killing it. But I got nothing from this guy. We take a break and they ask me and I tell them, ‘I have no idea what’s going on with this guy.’ And they’re like, ‘That’s a good thing.’ ”

Fangio was the Bears’ defensive coordinator at the time and picked Staley to coach the team’s outside linebackers. Two years later, Fangio was hired by the Broncos and Staley went with him.

After one season, Staley got the job as the Rams’ defensive coordinator. Not even a year later, he was hired by the Chargers to be their head coach.

“He’s certainly the reason why I was able to become a coordinator with the Rams,” Staley said, “because of the amount of respect that Sean [McVay] and all the offensive coaches in this league have for him. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”


Kevin Baxter on soccer: Less than a week after leaving LAFC, Bob Bradley has landed a new job, being named Wednesday as head coach and sporting director at Toronto FC where he will be reunited with son Michael, the team’s captain.

Speculation that Bradley would eventually land in Toronto began in the final weeks of the MLS season when the coach, whose contract expired when the schedule did, was still with LAFC. But Toronto waited until the conclusion of the Canadian Cup, which ended Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Montreal, before officially parting ways with interim coach Javier Pérez and general manager Ali Curtis.

Bradley, 63, replaces both men.

“We are excited for Bob to get to work,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said in a statement. “We are entering an extremely important offseason and know we have a team that needs a significant makeover. Bob has experience putting teams together and in getting them to perform at a high level. He understands the expectations and standards of TFC and is ready to take on this challenge.”


1925 — Red Grange, playing his first game as a professional with the Chicago Bears, is held to 36 yards in a 0-0 tie with the Chicago Cardinals.

1934 — The Detroit Lions suffer the first defeat in franchise history, 3-0 to the Green Bay Packers. The Lions had won the first 10 games of the season.

1948 — Howie Dallmar of the Philadelphia Warriors matches his NBA record for futility by missing all 15 shots against the Washington Capitols.

1976 — Buffalo’s O.J. Simpson rushes for 273 yards and scores two touchdowns in a 27-14 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day.

1980 — “No Mas, No Mas.” Roberto Duran quits with 16 seconds to go in the eighth round at New Orleans, allowing Sugar Ray Leonard to regain the WBC welterweight title.

1983 — Larry Holmes knocks out Marvis Frazier at 2:57 of the first round to retain the world heavyweight title in Las Vegas.

1985 — Clemson’s Grayson Marshall sets an NCAA record with 20 assists in an 83-57 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore.

1995 — Tim Biakabutuka rushes for a career-high 313 yards as Michigan upsets Ohio State 31-23.

2002 — Ozzie Newsome becomes the first black general manager in NFL history, signing a new five-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens that includes an upgrade in his title.

2007 — San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson becomes the 23rd player in NFL history rush for 10,000 yards, reaching the milestone on a 36-yard run in the Chargers’ 32-14 win over Baltimore.

2007 — Minnesota returns three interceptions by Eli Manning for touchdowns in a 41-17 win over the New York Giants. Darren Sharper scores on a 20-yard return, Dwight Smith rumbles 93 yards and Chad Greenway follows from 37 yards just a few plays later.

2012 — The Toronto Argonauts beats the Calgary Stampeders 35-22 in the 100th Grey Cup. Toronto earns its 16th Grey Cup title and first since 2004.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Highlights of the Leonard-Duran “No Mas” fight. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.