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In St. Louis, these trucks were Rams-stuffed

The Rams' long-awaited move became a reality Monday when 11 moving vans filled with everything from footballs to blocking sleds showed up in St. Louis.

The moving vans were the first in a caravan of 18 vehicles moving the Rams from Anaheim, Calif. They arrived downtown shortly after noon to an impromptu welcome. About 150 people, many of whom said they just happened to be outside on their lunch hour, greeted the vans.

The Rams training camp doesn't begin until July 16, so many of the players have yet to arrive.

The vehicles began the 1,800-mile trip Friday. Cramming nearly 50 years of tradition into trunks and boxes proved just about as tough as persuading the NFL to allow the move. After initially saying no, league owners gave the go-ahead in April.

"We've been planning our move to St. Louis since April, and we're delighted to finally settle into our new home," Rams owner Georgia Frontiere said in a prepared statement. "This is the beginning of a new era for the Rams, and we're anxious for it to get under way."

Most of the Rams' employees are making the move with the team, officials said. But some will remain in California for an undetermined amount of time.

Elsewhere

Bengals: Fans could know by Thursday night whether the team will stay put or move to Baltimore.

City and Hamilton County negotiators are trying to resolve their differences and meet demands from Mike Brown, president and part owner of the team, for a signed agreement by Thursday to build a stadium.

Otherwise, Brown warns he will negotiate exclusively with the Maryland Stadium Authority, which has wooed the Bengals with an offer of a new stadium and a lucrative financial deal.

Brown, who issued the ultimatum in a letter Saturday, had heard nothing from the city or county Monday, spokesman Jack Brennan said.

John Moag Jr., chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, said over the weekend that he expects Brown will try to stay in Cincinnati, where the Bengals began play in 1968.

Eagles: Center David Alexander was released, making the eight-year veteran a free agent. Alexander joined the Eagles in 1987 as a fifth-round draft pick from Tulsa. He appeared in 124 games, starting in the last 108 regular-season contests.

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