The Los Angeles Rams’ temporary regular-season training facility will likely be in the Thousand Oaks area and the team expects to hold training camp at UC Irvine, coach Jeff Fisher said.
The Rams are looking “at several different options in Thousand Oaks,” Fisher said a news conference following a meeting for their players in Manhattan Beach Friday to give them information about the team’s return to Southern California.
The Rams may practice at the temporary site for 2 1/2 years until completion of their new stadium in Inglewood, set for 2019.
The team is encouraging its players to live in the Thousand Oaks area to minimize driving times, Fisher said.
Holding training camp at UC Irvine is “looking good,” Fisher said.
The Rams held training camp at UC Irvine in 1991, 1992 and 1994 when they played their home games at what was then known as Anaheim Stadium.
About 80 percent of the team’s players attended the meeting, Fisher said.
“I thought we got a lot accomplished,” Fisher said.
The players “had been in the dark” about issues related to the team’s return to Southern California and this meeting “helped clear up a lot of stuff and kind of put a lot of minds at easy, especially all of our wives and players’ girlfriends,” punter Johnny Hekker said.
“There had been a lot of unanswered questions, but today we were able to get a lot of information,” Hekker said.
Hekker said his teammates are “very excited” about the move to Los Angeles, where the team played from 1946 to 1979 before moving to Anaheim, where they played through 1994, then moved to St. Louis.
“They’re a little bit sad to be leaving what’s familiar, but I think the sunshine and sandy beaches aren’t too bad to have waiting ahead of you,” Hekker said.
The meeting was the team’s first gathering of players in Los Angeles since its return to Southern California was approved by NFL owners on Jan. 12.
The Rams needed to receive permission from the NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association, the union representing the league’s players, to hold the meeting because of limitations of off-season gatherings under the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Fisher also announced cornerback Trumaine Johnson had signed his franchise tender, guaranteeing he will remain with the team in 2016.
The Rams announced Tuesday they had elected to place the non-exclusive franchise tag on Johnson, virtually insuring he would remain with the team in 2016.
Placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on him still allowed Johnson to negotiate with other teams in free agency, but if he signed with another team, that team would owe the Rams two first-round picks in compensation.
The compensation made it unlikely another team would sign Johnson.
Under terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Johnson will be paid $13.952 million for the 2016 season, based on a formula involving the average of the five highest salaries at the position last season and the league’s salary cap.
The Rams will be able to negotiate terms of a long-term contract with Johnson’s representatives until July 15.
Johnson was third in the NFL with seven interceptions last season and has made 15 interceptions since being selected in the third round of the 2012 draft out of Montana, the most in his draft class.
—Staff and wire reports
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