It’s been believed for months that, in the race to Los Angeles, influential Panthers owner Jerry Richardson (a leader on the league’s L.A. committee) supports the Chargers over the Rams.
On Wednesday, Richardson made that crystal clear.
“I support the Carson project,” Richardson told reporters on Wednesday outside the NFL’s headquarters in Manhattan, where some owners had gathered to hear presentations from the three cities that hope to keep the teams that hope to move to L.A., via David Hunn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Asked whether he supports the Carson project more than the Inglewood project, Richardson was blunt: “You can’t support both.”
Richardson’s comments lend credence to the PFT report from late September regarding the opposition of Richardson to a relocation of the Rams: “Richardson and other owners view the Chargers and Raiders as more eligible to move under the league’s relocation policy, especially since it appears that St. Louis has cobbled together a viable plan for building a new stadium and keeping the Rams in the place they’ve been for the last 20 years.”
The real question is whether only the Chargers or both the Chargers and Raiders would make the move. Previously, it was believed that the owners didn’t want to put two teams in L.A. absent a high level of confidence that both would be successful financially. The promised involvement of Disney CEO Robert Iger in the project helps tremendously, especially if Iger eventually parlays his role into a minority stake in the Raiders, giving owner Mark Davis the partner he needs to secure the faith of his peers.