L.A. gaining momentum at Spring League Meeting

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The NFL's future in Los Angeles hasn't popped up much in the news cycle since the league's annual meeting in March, but that doesn't mean progress hasn't been made.

According to multiple involved parties, momentum continues to build toward the league returning to the L.A. market in 2016 after 21 years away.

One NFL source said the league is "confident there'll be multiple options" on the table to make that a reality by the end of the calendar year, as the owners gather for the spring meeting in San Francisco.

Barring a surprise, those will be the Hollywood Park project in Inglewood (driven by Rams owner Stan Kroenke) and the Carson project (with a Raiders/Chargers partnership behind it). And the race between those two remains as it was in March, with the Hollywood Park project maintaining an incremental lead and the deep pockets of Kroenke giving it an inherent advantage.

Over the last two months, the Carson project has become entitled, and the Raiders and Chargers have begun moving transactions to put parcels of land in the area in the right hands. Both projects have made advances in the design phase, as well.

The league will inform teams Tuesday that they should expect proposals and designs at a later date.

There will, however, be more extensive talks on the current markets of the Rams, Raiders and Chargers. The league did site visits this spring to St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego and will give reports on their market surveys, and talk through the timeline and process in each of those cities.

The NFL will tell the owners that St. Louis' progress toward a downtown stadium remains steady, design work has continued and that the confidence the league has in state money there remains high, despite a lawsuit between the state and city. San Diego, meanwhile, took a step forward this week with its stadium task force issuing a report. Oakland, on the other hand, has moved backward since March, losing time without making any progress.

In addition to the NFL's report, the Rams, Raiders and Chargers will give their own reports on what they're seeing and hearing in their home markets.

And the other area that will be covered, in relation to L.A., at the San Francisco meeting will be the relocation window, which allows for teams to declare the intention to move between Jan. 1 to Feb. 15, a timeframe designed to make a move official at the March meeting. There is a likelihood that an adjustment to the window will be made Tuesday or Wednesday to allow for the process to wrap up closer to the Super Bowl, to give a relocating team more time to execute the move.

According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the Chargers and Raiders have hired former 49ers exec Carmen Policy to help with a potential move to Los Angeles at the Carson location if the stadium deals with their locals markets do not work out. They plan to lean on his expertise and experience. Policy met with those team officials on Monday. More than 20 years ago Policy tried to broker a deal that would have kept the Rams and Raiders in L.A.

At this point, an outcome is unlikely to crystallize before late in the fall, perhaps ahead of the league's meeting in December.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer

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