Well, it happened.
After more than a year of will-they, won’t-they speculation, the Rams are heading to Los Angeles, as the NFL preferred Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood vision instead of the Chargers/Raiders’ proposed Carson project.
“It’s two completely different visions,” LA Daily News columnist Vincent Bonsignore said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “You could not have any more differences than those two. Carson was a standalone stadium with a huge parking lot to have huge tailgate parties, an open-air stadium with a real grass field, whereas Inglewood – and I think this alludes to your point, which is why it was so appealing to other NFL owners – it was a magnificent stadium as an anchor of a NFL Disneyland-type development. It checked off so many other boxes for owners, especially when you’re talking about Los Angeles. It’s not just a stadium; it’s literally like an NFL Disneyland, where we could do the Draft, we could do the Combine, we could have our NFL studios there, we could have a West Coast wing of the NFL Hall-of-Fame, and bars and restaurants and hotels – it really hit a note with fellow owners. And that, I believe, in addition to sending the Rams back to Los Angeles and correcting a wrong, was what really ended up winning the day.”
The Chargers, meanwhile, have the option of joining the Rams in Los Angeles. If the Chargers decline, that opportunity would go to the Raiders.
Bonsignore, however, expects Chargers team president Dean Spanos to make the move.
“I think his best bet is to go ahead and sign up on the guarantee he has in Los Angeles,” Bonsignore said. “If he doesn’t, that opportunity is never going to be there again. It will automatically go to the Raiders, and he will have lost that spot and still face uncertainty in San Diego. It’ll be interesting the next couple of days because it’s going to happen relatively quick to decide whether they’re going to take them up on the offer or not.”
Even if the Chargers leave for Los Angeles, though, don’t expect the Raiders to stay put.
“If the Chargers do leave, I think the Raiders look right to San Diego,” Bonsignore said. “That’s a market that they are really enamored with. It’s a market they think they can dominate. There’s a lot of Raiders fans in Southern California. I think that’s a home run for them. They just have to wait to see what the Chargers do, but trust me: If the Chargers leave San Diego, that is 1B, at the very least, with Oakland as a market that the Raiders will focus on.”