LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 01: Farmers Insurance Exchange executives Paul Patsis with cheerleaders after an event announcing naming rights for the new football stadium Farmers Field at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 1 2011 in Los Angeles California. AEG has reportedly sold the naming rights for the proposed stadium to Farmers Insurance Exchange for $650,000 calling the stadium 'Farmers Field.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
An earlier report out of Florida ratcheted up the expectations on Jeff Fisher. That report said that Fisher had picked the Dolphins, and it would be announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. That report, as we noted, was thinly sourced and now looks to be bogus. The Dolphins confirmed that they had no presser scheduled today. However, Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network is out with some speculation today that Fisher will go to Miami.
Lombardi says that Fisher is close to making a decision, and sources say, per Lombardi, that Fisher will pick the Dolphins. A decision could be announced today, per the same report.
But there's more...
Lombardi is the latest member of the national media to offer some insight into where Fisher will land. Others, also citing sources, have said that the Rams will be his choice. It should be abundantly clear that no one knows anything. Though it is hard not to wonder based on Lombardi's report today and Adam Schefter's continued belief that Fisher will choose the Dolphins. Both men travel in well-informed circles.
The most troubling part of Lombardi's report was this:
Sources said Fisher wants no part of a potential relocation and feels more comfortable with the structure in place in Miami than St. Louis.
It's already fueling speculation that the Rams will be on their way out, ignoring the fact that there is no real connection from where we are now to packing the moving trucks. The Rams moving is a distinct possibility, but the current administration has gone to great lengths to expand the franchise footprint in the St. Louis area, in everything from charitable outreach to buying up unsold tickets. It's not that a move is out of the question. Quite frankly an open spot in Southern California strengthens Stan Kroenke's hand in getting a more favorable stadium deal in St. Louis.
The Rams aren't really in a position to give Fisher any assurances about what will happen with the stadium lease. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is keeping tight wraps on a plan to update the Dome to get in line with that obtuse "top quarter" clause. They have to present that plan to the Rams on Feb. 1. The Rams can pitch a counter offer later in the spring and the two sides can go to arbitration, with a resolution by the end of the calendar year, if there is to be a resolution.
Unfortunately, the Rams nor Jeff Fisher can wait until Feb. 1, much less the months beyond that. The business of football marches on and they have a big project at hand to breathe new life into a bad team.
Don't discount the possibility of the L.A. talk being another smoke screen thrown up with the intention of swaying Fisher.
Their attempt to land Fisher is a sign that the Rams would like to find some long term stability after being adrift for so long. Now, if only they could get a decision from the guy.