No matter which turn off the freeway the NFL takes in Los Angeles -- towards Ed Roski's project in the Eastern outskirts or Phil Anschutz's downtown facility -- one thing has been consistent and indisputable among folks I've talked to in reporting on all this. And that's the NFL is resolute on not getting just any franchise there, but the right franchise for L.A. The bottom line is the league is determined to get it right this time around. That might mean turning to one team that turned its back on SoCal 16 years ago.
The Raiders have what the NFL is looking for. A built-in fan base. An iconic brand. And the kind of team that could create the kind of "scene" to attract Angelinos in the same manner the Lakers do.
The caveat I always got in discussing the Raiders with those in the know centered on skepticism that Al Davis and the league could work together. Obviously, the future of the franchise is still up in the air. But the team will hire a GM, and once ownership gets sorted out, there'll be a decision to make. And it could be this: Share a stadium with the 49ers in Santa Clara, or bolt for LaLa Land.