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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie Bits: What's Up With Kroenke?

    Bernie Bits: What's up with Kroenke?

    Bernie Miklasz
    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    The Rams have lost safety O.J. Atogwe to the Washington Redskins. We're happy for the classy Atogwe, who received $13 million guaranteed in the free-agent deal as part of a total package worth $25 million.

    The Atogwe defection got me thinking about Rams owner Stan Kroenke. Where is he? What are his plans for the franchise? He's been silent for too long.

    It would be unfair to attribute the Atogwe decision to Kroenke. The reality is, Atogwe wasn't an ideal fit for the defensive system deployed by head coach Steve Spagnuolo. The coach prefers rugged safeties who can enforce the run. Atogwe is more of a center fielder who tracks airborne footballs. Atogwe is also much better than any remaining safety on the Rams' roster, so it's legitimate to question the team's decision to let him go.

    The Rams decided not to spend money in this instance. Maybe it was just a pure football decision. Maybe it was made, in part, with the NFL's labor dispute in mind. Most NFL owners are watching their money until there's a new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union.

    That's the thing with Kroenke; we still don't have a handle on what to expect from him as the owner. When the new agreement is in place, the NFL will open its annual free-agent market. Will the Rams be major players, conservative shoppers or stay on the sidelines? Will Kroenke encourage GM Billy Devaney to go out and do what he needs to improve the roster? Or will Kroenke urge caution?

    As always, Kroenke is a busy man. Though he no longer runs the NBA Denver Nuggets on a daily basis, I think it's safe to assume that he monitored the drama that ultimately sent star player Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks for multiple players and draft choices. Through Thursday, the Nuggets were 5-1 since making the deal.

    Nuggets President Josh Kroenke, the former Mizzou basketball player, was bothered by the speculation over his father's purported involvement in the deal.

    "My father has relinquished the control," Josh Kroenke told the Denver Post. "I negotiated the final deal with (the Knicks). I have kept my father informed during the process, but all he's ever said to me is, 'Do what you think is best.' I did that. Anybody who doesn't think I made the trade is wrong."

    In compliance with NFL cross-ownership rules, Stan Kroenke isn't allowed to run the Nuggets or the NHL Colorado Avalanche. But the NFL is giving Kroenke time to divest the Denver sports properties.

    Kroenke is also the largest shareholder (29.9 percent) of the Arsenal soccer club in the English Premier League. For whatever it's worth, Arsenal recently posted a $4 million loss for a sixth-month period through the end of November. In what seems to be an attempt to improve the revenue picture, Arsenal has agreed to make a preseason exhibition-game tour of Japan later this year. According to media reports in London, the trip will generate an estimated $15 million for Arsenal.

    The Rams are undoubtedly important to Stan Kroenke. How important is an open-ended question. Will he be an aggressive, hands-on owner? Until the real NFL offseason gets under way, we'll only be guessing.


  2. #2
    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bits: What's Up With Kroenke?

    "I don't like the silence because he's not telling me everything that's going to happen!!!!!1111"

    Sound about right?

    I'm curious as to what he's going to do as an owner, but I don't expect him to lay it all out for us either.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie Bits: What's Up With Kroenke?

    It's not the job of the owner to talk about these sort of things. Jerry Jones is not the typical owner. That job belongs to Devaney, Spags, etc. Let the people who are paid to do those things, do those things. We shouldn't have to worry about what kind of decision-maker Kroenke is, because he shouldn't be making those decisions.

  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bits: What's Up With Kroenke?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    It would be unfair to attribute the Atogwe decision to Kroenke.
    Yet that's exactly what Bernie intimated in his earlier article when he said Kroenke would be scrutinized for the move. He seems lost on this issue and is all over the board with his stance, making points for and against letting Atogwe go, questioning Kroenke, then making the case he shouldn't be held accountable. Poor Bernie, he was producing pretty good stuff for a while, but has now fallen back to his standard drivel.

  5. #5
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bits: What's Up With Kroenke?

    Kroenke laid out several hundred million dollars to buy the team. I think that its safe to assume that protecting that investment is very important to him. He has no history as a vocal owner with any of his teams. Why should he be different with the Rams? He is an extremely astute businessman who married a woman with more money than any woman other than queen elizabeth, oprah or jk rowling.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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