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Stan Kroenke now owns the Rams

The NFL approved Stan Kroenke as the new owner of the St. Louis Rams today with a unanimous vote by the league's owners. 

That's good news for the Rams as they no longer have to operate amidst the background noise of a pending ownership change. There was plenty of speculation during the offseason that the team held back in free agency because of the looming change of the guards, but that theory never made much sense, especially after the Rams drafted QB Sam Bradford with the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, guaranteeing him a contract worth close to $80 million with $50 million guaranteed. 

To me the biggest issue around the ownership question was, like I said above, the additional uncertainty for a franchise in transition. After more than half a decade of instability, the Rams finally got on the right course following the 2008 season when they cleaned out the front office and made Billy Devaney the general manager in place of the incompetent bureaucrat Jay Zygmunt. Last season the ground under foot was still shaky as Devaney and an all new coaching staff tried to piece together a team from the ashes of decaying rubble that passed for a roster. 

Already, things are starting to look up for the Rams, though they have a long way to go. Kroenke assumes the role of the Rams' sole owner with two big challenges already on the horizon. Normally, fans would already be speculating about what the Rams might do in free agency next year, but the only speculation happening now is whether or not there will be a football season. Even with some protections measures in place, like a guaranteed stream of TV revenue whether there's anything to broadcast or not, the Rams will be in a tough position as a small market team desperately trying to repair its relationship with a fanbase that hasn't been buying tickets lately. Beyond that, the Rams have a looming stadium issue when they reach an out clause in their lease on the Ed Jones Dome in 2014. At that point, the Rams will have to find a new home, be it in the St. Louis Metro area or some other market. 

Anyway, that's all down the road a bit, so let's just extend a big fan welcome to Stan Kroenke.