As the Chargers negotiate an arrangement that would move the franchise to Kroenkeworld (even though it possibly makes sense to stay put), the NFL has a problem. With both spots in L.A. taken, the league has no leverage to squeeze public money or other favorable terms out of Oakland in connection with the construction of a stadium for the Raiders there.
Immediately after the Rams received the first golden ticket to Los Angeles, San Antonio re-emerged as a potential destination for the Raiders. And now that the Chargers may be clearing out of San Diego, someone is floating the notion that the Raiders could fill the vacancy south of L.A.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports, citing an unnamed source, that a San Diego backfill by the Raiders becomes “very viable” if the Chargers leave.
While it’s not the first time the idea has emerged (PFT spitballed the possibility more than a month ago), the stakes are raised now that the Raiders definitely won’t be moving to L.A. With Oakland already doing nothing of real consequence to assist with the construction of a new stadium for the team, Oakland needs a shot across the bow.
The prospect of a San Antonio is met with a shrug, especially since anyone who understands anything about the league realizes that the Cowboys and Texans would never stand for that. But San Diego could scare Oakland; a departure of the Chargers could make the powers-that-be in San Diego more determined than ever to build a stadium, and the possibility of luring Oakland’s arch rivals to town introduces a revenge mindset that could help sway voters, if a stadium initiative ever heads to the ballot box.
Look for the Raiders to keep treading water (hopefully not from overflowed toilets in a dilapidated stadium) in Oakland until the Chargers decide what to do. If they join the Rams in L.A., look for the Raiders and the league to rattle the cage as hard as possible about a departure from Oakland until Oakland does something to help pay for a new stadium there.