NFL team owners next week will discuss cities that want to rejoin the league, but may or may not vote on a resolution that Maryland officials requested but now want delayed.
Maryland Stadium Authority chairman John Moag on Tuesday asked NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue to delay until later this year a vote on the resolution, which would guarantee Baltimore a relocated or expansion franchise.
Moag and Gov. Parris Glendening asked in September that such a resolution be voted on. But Moag said he wants to focus on his efforts to convince a team to move here and save the resolution as a "last resort."
The state is talking with a number of franchises about relocating to Baltimore, and several sources say discussions with the Cleveland Browns -- possibly under the new ownership of former Maryland banker Alfred Lerner -- appear very promising. Neither Moag nor the team would comment.
Also, representatives of Malcolm Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, met with city officials in Orlando, Fla., on Monday to discuss building a stadium there. City officials were quoted in the Orlando Sentinel as saying the team appeared pessimistic about its chances for getting a stadium built in Tampa and was exploring other options.
Glazer once headed an effort to win an expansion franchise for Baltimore. A team spokesman yesterday said the meeting was a courtesy to Orlando officials, who had asked to be kept informed and want to be considered should the team decide to leave Tampa. But Glazer still is commited to Tampa, said the spokesman, Chip Namias.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said yesterday that the league had not decided whether to delay the resolution vote, and might not do so until the meetings in Dallas that begin Tuesday.
"We plan to have a full and open discussion at the league meetings regarding Baltimore, Los Angeles and several other cities that have expressed an interest in acquiring or reacquiring an NFL team," Aiello said.
"That discussion will occur regardless of whether the Baltimore resolution is acted upon at the meeting."