In a Thursday interview with Bob Costas, NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell told the host that the league would most likely expand by two teams if they moved into the Los Angeles market. He also told Costas that the league wants to keep teams where they are. In his Friday press conference in Indianapolis, Goodell recited similar talking points in relation to the St. Louis Rams, but softened his stance on the expansion talk.
Specifically, Goodell said that the league has not discussed expansion. He added that he doesn't see expansion happening in the foreseeable future, but did note a ten-year window to make something happen for the NFL in LA.
Naturally, that led to questions about LA and the Rams. Goodell said that the NFL does indeed want to go back to sunny Southern California and the country's second-largest media market. However, he also said that it was a balancing act, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal.
The commissioner did reiterate his talking point that the league wants to keep teams where they are. That said, the NFL isn't above using open spots in Los Angeles to give teams leverage in favorable stadium deals. So the commish didn't blow all of Stan Kroenke's leverage in Dome talks with the CVC.
Asked about the Rams specifically by Jim Thomas at the PD, Goodell said, "we'd love to have the St. Louis Rams stay in St. Louis."
Goodell said the same thing in an interview with Bernie Miklasz of the PD on Thursday.
Like most, I go back and forth on this issue everyday. Today, I return to my gut feeling that all of it is a leverage play for Stan Kroenke and the Rams to get a sweet deal to stick around in Missouri or maybe even suburban Illinois ... with more than a little help from the public trough.