The Oakland Raiders could be on the move, with rumors that the team could be planning to head south to San Diego if the Chargers end up bolting for Los Angeles.
The Chargers have an open invitation to join the Los Angeles Rams in a partnership, league sources told ESPN. If they do end up moving, the Oakland Raiders could very well move to San Diego to take their place.
The Raiders were rumored to be one of the teams in the running to move to Los Angeles, though it ended up being the Rams instead.
Whatever happens, it appears the Raiders are more than likely to move out of Oakland after 2016. The team has a tenuous stadium situation, and has started to publicly look elsewhere as a form of leverage.
The Chargers have until March 23 to officially decide if they will join the Rams in Los Angeles, and if they do decide it will leave an immediate opening for the Raiders, CBS Sports reported.
Report: Raiders move to San Diego ‘very viable’ https://t.co/cIILHKVMuq via @CBSSports
— Pats nation (@diehardpats1) January 24, 2016
As Pro Football Talk reported, there have been rumors for some time that the Oakland Raiders are looking at Los Angeles, and have even floated the idea of moving to San Antonio.
“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.”
San Antonio has long been viewed as a stalking horse for NFL teams looking to leverage better deals from their home city on a new stadium, but this time it’s viewed a bit differently. A new NBA report from Forbes found that the value of the San Antonio Spurs jumped to $1.15 billion, which is up $746 million in the last five years. That puts the team at only $280 million less than the Raiders.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 24, 2016
The new figure is seen as support against concerns that San Antonio may not be a viable home for an NFL team. As the San Antonio Business Journal noted, that’s a significant boost.
“The fact that the disparity between the two franchises’ respective values has continued to narrow is not insignificant.
“The NFL is king in U.S. pro sports. Its top team, the Dallas Cowboys, is valued at $4 billion, according to Forbes. The NBA’s top performer in the team valuation rankings, the New York Knicks, are worth $3 billion.”
The Oakland Raiders rumors might make sense, even if they are moving the home of a longtime divisional rival. If the Chargers depart for Los Angeles it would leave a vacuum of fans that could latch onto the Raiders, to go along with the remaining Raiders fans (including those who have already followed the team through one move and remain in Southern California). It could also be a cost-effective move, as there are rumors that the NFL would consider waiving the relocation fee for the team.
[Image via Instagram/Oakland Raiders]