Today the Chargers announced they would remain in San Diego for the 2016 season. This comes as somewhat of a surprise considering they had been approved earlier this month to make the jump to Los Angeles with the Rams as part of their Inglewood project. A shared stadium in LA was what the Chargers had been working toward, albeit originally with the Raiders in Carson.
When Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis couldn't get the votes necessary to approve their stadium in Carson, the owners took another vote that made the Raiders the odd team out and put the Chargers in with Stan Kroenke and the Rams in their massive $2.66 billion stadium project in Inglewood.
Part of the deal when it was made at the owners meetings was that the Chargers wouldn't immediately join the Rams, but instead be sent back to San Diego to give the city where they have spent the past 54 years one more shot to keep them.
Should the Chargers have opted to join the Rams in LA for 2016, they would have had to make their decision by March. They didn't even take the rest of January to make their decision.
Staying in San Diego is the best of all worlds for Spanos. The Raiders have been discussing possibly moving to San Diego if/when the Chargers move. By taking the allotted time to make his decision, Spanos controls both LA and San Diego for at least a year.
So, what does this news mean for the Raiders?
Keeps the door open for a move to LA
With the Chargers having agreed to terms with the Rams on their shared stadium situation, San Diego is up against it to get something done. And they will now have a year to try and get something done. They had been trying to get something done for 14 years, but something about the Chargers having one foot out the door along with the city getting a temporary reprieve has a way of getting things done. Should that happen and the Chargers remain in San Diego, the Raiders have the option to join the Rams instead.
Oakland will be their home for 2016
This was a near certainty anyway, considering finding a place to relocate for this season with a couple months to plan it would be near impossible. They have been talking with the Coliseum Authority this week on a short-term lease expected to be their third-straight one-year lease extension to remain at O.co. They can continue to try and get a new stadium in Oakland in the meantime.
Mark Davis will continue to explore alternate locations
Just like San Diego, Oakland has been given another shot to keep the Raiders. The Raiders visit to Las Vegas Friday is not a good sign as far as the status of negotiations between the team and the city, but there is still a lot of time.
Should they not be able to get something done in Oakland, LA is by far the Raiders number one choice relocation destination. It's worth waiting a year to see if it becomes available. But there is no way the Raiders will allow themselves to be left out and backed into a corner again. If the Chargers do ultimately head to LA, and the Raiders haven't gotten anything done in Oakland, they will ensure they have other options. At that point San Diego could again be a possibility along with San Antonio and the seemingly more far-fetched Las Vegas idea.
They COULD be in Oakland in 2017 as well even without a new stadium
As with most deadlines, it seems, the Chargers deadline for opting into Los Angeles has a provision. If they get a stadium initiative approved this year, that January 15 deadline could be extended to 2018 to allow for legal challenges or a second election, if necessary. So, it's possible we could be having the same conversation this time next year. How fun!