As of now, there are zero NFL teams in Los Angeles. There should be at least two in the very near future, as the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams could all be on the move.
But they won’t all be moving to the same place.
“All three won’t go because that would necessitate building two stadiums and that’s not happening,” NFL Network insider Albert Breer said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “And here’s the thing. The tricky thing for the NFL – if you look at the three existing markets – St. Louis is way out in front of the other two. The Rams also have the best stadium project in Los Angeles. The reason I think the Rams are the most likely team to land in Los Angeles in 2016, I think that the NFL is going to do what’s going to give it the best chance to succeed in Los Angeles regardless of anything else. They’ve been waiting 21 years for this, they’ve got two very viable projects and I think not only is the project better, but (Rams owner Stan) Kroenke has got deeper pockets.
“So I think the first step here is Stan Kroenke moving the team, moving the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles next year,” Breer continued. “They’ll play in the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl for a couple years and then I think the second spot in this stadium is likely to remain open. I think maybe for a year or two, it’s one team there. And out of courtesy to the Chargers, I don’t think they let the Raiders go down there. I think you would have two teams in Southern California, whether that’s one in San Diego and one in L.A. or both in L.A. And what that would allow the Chargers . . . to use that second spot and Kroenke’s stadium as leverage to try and get something done in San Diego.
“I think the Raiders are kind of the third piece in all of this where they’re kind of the moveable piece. They could wind up as a second team in L.A. They won’t be the first team there no matter what, and if that doesn’t work out, then you could see them going any of a number of places. I don’t really believe that it’s necessary to have two teams in the Bay Area. So if something doesn’t get done in Oakland, if they don’t want to go and share Levi Stadium with the Niners, then they’re probably going somewhere. The question is whether that’s the second spot in L.A. Maybe they replace the Chargers in San Diego eventually. To me, the Chargers and the Rams are L.A. or stay home and then the Raiders are the moveable piece.”
Wait a second. It’s possible that the Raiders could replace the Chargers in San Diego?
“If they’re unwilling to go to San Francisco and they’re in Santa Clara, they really become kind of that moveable piece,” Breer said. “There’s just so much uncertainty with the Raiders . . . But if in a year or two years we have the Chargers and Rams sharing a stadium in Inglewood, then the Raiders are going to be looking for an answer. And because again, I think Oakland seems kind of a luxury for the league – having two teams in the Bay Area – I certainly think that they would be looked at as kind of a piece that could move in a number of different directions.”