So what’s going on with the Chargers?

While the Los Angeles Rams officially begin their move back to Los Angeles, their potential partners are in the process of deciding whether or not to join them.

The San Diego Chargers – and perhaps soon to be Los Angeles Chargers – will begin evaluating the framework of the partnership deal the National Football League approved upon granting the Rams and Chargers relocation to Los Angeles Tuesday in Houston.

As we know, the Rams move was put in place as soon as fellow owners voted and ratified it. And while the Chargers were approved to move immediately as well, they were also given up to a year to decide whether to pursue it.

According to sources, the framework of the deal was actually forwarded to Chargers owner Dean Spanos late Monday night. And by early evening Tuesday he was asked to sign off on it. Needless to say, that was an extraordinarily quick turnaround after spending the last 12 months focused exclusively on moving with the Raiders to Carson.

Which is why the Chargers requested up to 12 months to decide. At the very least to take some time to breathe and think about things.

Two days later, the Chargers and their advisors are beginning the process of digging into the framework of the deal. According to league sources, whatever form the deal eventually evolves into, it will represent a true partnership between the Rams and Chargers.

The issue is timing – at least as it relates to finalizing something in time for the 2016 season. According to sources close to the situation, the Chargers want to decide within the next two to three weeks whether a deal can get done – or not done. They want clarity on whether they are moving to L.A. or staying in San Diego within that time frame.

For obvious reasons: There are tickets to sell in one or the other market and possibly an entire franchise to move.

The question is, can they close such an important, franchise-altering deal – and have assurances they will be protected over the duration of it –  in such a tight window?

Sources close to the situation insist the Chargers will be well protected in the deal – that the promises Rams owner Stan Kroenke made to them on Tuesday and the deal they all agreed to doesn’t change just because the Rams were granted relocation to Los Angeles.. Essentially, the Chargers have 30 other partners and a commissioner ensuring they will be insulated from any pitfalls or surprises upon sitting down with Kroenke.

And they also have the word of Kroenke, who stood in front of his fellow owners and pledged he will work fairly and honorably with Spanos and them. According to NFL sources, Kroenke is well aware the eyes of the league are on him, and he has every intention of being a good partner.

And as a high-ranking NFL executive said, “There is no way Stan can put one over on them.”

The other option for Spanos to is re-group and spend the next year re-engaging in talks with the city of San Diego on a new stadium deal. With the baseline parameters on a deal with the Rams already in place – and a guaranteed landing spot in L.A. awaiting him –  he can use it to leverage San Diego into making a deal.

Said a league source: “Why rush it?  Commit to San Diego for a year, and see where it gets you. Have a vote. Get finality.”

In theory, that is sound advice.

The flip side risk is every day the Chargers give the Rams to get a leg up on them in Los Angeles is a day wasted. In addition, Spanos risks alienating a new market that might sense he is simply using L.A. to get a better deal in San Diego. And if a new stadium doesn’t emerge in San Diego and he moves to Los Angeles in 2017, he might always be looked at as viewing L.A. as his fall-back option rather than the place he truly wants to call home.

Maybe the better play is for Spanos is to turn the page on San Diego, trust the process, his colleagues and new partner and close the deal with Kroenke,

And send a clear, direct message to everyone is he ready to make Los Angeles the new home of the Chargers.

 

 

  • Gerald Reynolds

    Prediction. Dean will never join Stan in Inglewood. He doesn’t desire to be a partner or tenant. If anyone joins the Rams in Inglewood it will be Davis and the Raiders.

  • NihilistZerO

    Nobody in LA wants the Chargers. They’d be starting from less than ground zeroo trying to compete with the Rams. And if they do take LAS #2 they’d likely have to compete with the San Diego Raiders. Dean would be taking the most difficult path possible if they go to LA.

    • David

      We can keep saying that over and over, but Spanos, the NFL, Vinny – no one is listening. Who cares if the Rams have a leg up over the year, the Chargers will never make up that ground unless they win Super Bowls as Los Angeles. They’ve had 20 years to be our team and aren’t any closer today than they were in 1995.

      Fan base just doesn’t matter to these guys, but they should a ltitle bit. I can assume Spanos isn’t counting on PSLs with the Rams the other choice? No billionaire can be that tone deaf to his reception up here, can he?

      Los Angeles Chargers would be such an epic fail.

      • NihilistZerO

        I think Dean knows this and just doesn’t want to admit it. Even through the Raiders would have eaten his lunch in Carson, the fact that he was in the lead on the development made the math work. He CANNOT succeed competing against Kroenke no matter how good a deal he gives him. And at this point Kroenke has ZERO incentive to give him a good deal.

        Also if he moves the San Diego Raiders become a done deal. Dean would get destroyed from all sides as the worst brand in SoCal. That’s why I think he stays and the LA Raiders are back in 2017. Makes the most sense for all involved.

  • OBomb

    This is Dean Spanos we’re talking about. Someone with little business acumen, unlike Stan Kroenke. Despite the difficulties associated with it (given that his father is majority owner but in poor health), Dean’s best option would be to sell the franchise. Now.

  • Jim Holtz

    Spanos is in a bad spot.
    If he moves to LA, he would be partnering with a person he despises, he probably wont be able to afford the 2.5bil plus the relocation fee so he will be a tenant instead of a true partner in the building.
    If Spanos can pony up the $$ to partner, where will the 50/50 dividing line lay since SK did all the groundwork so far?
    He will certainly not say, “OK, I spent $X amount so far, write me a check for half.”
    SK holds the cards in the talks now since he does not have an incentive to allow Spanos to negotiate into the building as far as I know.

    The Raiders wound then probably move to SD and take over the fan base.
    The Chargers, or the rebranded team, will be the B team to the Rams for decades, or even a generation squeezing out the entire fan base.
    It will take an immediate string of Super Bowl wins with very charismatic players, or Junior Seau clones, to win over fans from the Rams.

  • Jim Holtz

    Spanos should cut his losses, get the best deal from SD that he can, and say he was never planning on leaving SD in the first place and he was just using Carson for leverage to give the fans in SD the best stadium.
    He will be a hero in SD.

    Which means that the Raiders would probably end up being the 2nd team in LA. Not my preference, as I would prefer them staying in Oakland, but I believe they would be better choice as a 2nd team for the NFL and for Los Angeles.

    I also believe that the Raiders are receiving a bad rap from the other owners about their history in Los Angeles.
    Their ‘Gang Rep’ was 20 years ago brought on by NWA (watch Straight Outta Compton, awesome movie)
    Also watch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKwUoFpkQrA
    It made the Raiders and LA Kings apparel gang colors in Los Angeles.
    The thugs that caused the problems are either dead, in prison, or responsible family people with good jobs.
    There are a new generation of Raider Fans in Los Angeles that will fill up the new stadium in Inglewood much easier than the Chargers ever could.

  • Mike Johnson

    Charger value goes from 1.5 billion to 2.0 billion if they move to Los Angles. Then in five years after drawing 45,000 a game Spanos sell the team for 2.5 billion to the next billionaire for their new toy.