The biggest issue on the table this NFL offseason will be whether the Raiders and Chargers follow through on their bids to relocate.
According to NFL insider Adam Schefter, both teams should start packing their bags.
Schefter appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday to discuss a recent report from ESPN’s Jim Trotter that “barring an unexpected miracle” the Chargers would be headed up the coast to Los Angeles, and the Raiders would be on their way to Las Vegas.
Patrick asked what we should make of Trotter’s report, wondering if perhaps there were ulterior motives behind whoever leaked this to Trotter — if, say, the news was leaked as a bargaining chip.
Here’s what Schefter had to say:
“I know people think that there are motives all the time behind stories, and as someone who traffics all the time in that world I just think that’s cynical, jaded, and maybe sometimes accurate, but not in this particular case.”
Schefter, the most well-sourced reporter around the NFL, continued on the subject and said that he, too, would be extremely surprised if either the Chargers or the Raiders did not follow through on their relocation efforts.
“My understanding from speaking to him and speaking to others is that barring anything unforeseen that San Diego plans to relocate to Los Angeles for next season, and the same is true of the Raiders with Las Vegas,” Schefter said.
“Everybody keeps talking about how Oakland is trying to do something for [Raiders owner] Mark Davis — Mark Davis, say what you want about him, is very, very loyal. And he has given Las Vegas his world that if it would build him a stadium and do it as it said it would, then he would come. To me, the Raiders are going to Las Vegas pending the approval of the league.”
Schefter here is referring to a recent development in Oakland, where former NFL player Ronnie Lott is reportedly working with city officials in an effort to buy the parcel of land on which the Raiders’ stadium is located. Schefter evidently doesn’t buy this, and his point on Davis’ loyalty feels like a big one. Plus, the Nevada state senate has already agreed to put public funds toward a brand new stadium, and at this point that plan is roaring ahead without anyone stopping it.
Just because the stadium in Vegas has been approved does not mean that the Raiders will get the approval needed to move, however. Schefter noted that league ownership could be in for a big fight over whether or not to send a team to the gambling capital of the country.
“Now that’s another issue and situation because I don’t think that everybody in the NFL office is too enthralled with that idea, even though it’s gained increasing momentum amongst certain NFL owners. I think there are certain people that are resistant to this idea, still, so there could be a little bit of a fight behind the scenes. But make no mistake about it: Mark Davis wants to and intends to take his team to Las Vegas. And that’s not leveraging.”
The situation in San Diego is far less complicated. The Chargers have until January 15th to agree to join the Rams in Los Angeles, and after a ballot-initiative to put public money toward a new stadium in San Diego was voted down by San Diego residents, it’s nearly impossible to envision a scenario in which the Chargers don’t move to LA.
Schefter, in the end, said this:
“I think both are on their way to happening. I will be surprised if both don’t happen.”
You can watch Schefter’s full interview with Patrick below:
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