Despite earlier optimism that the NFL would put one or two teams in Los Angeles in 2015, league sources say the chances of any team filing a relocation application when the window opens on Jan. 1 are between slim and none.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed the three eligible teams there will be no team in L.A. in 2015, according to league sources.
The Raiders have, in under-the-radar fashion, closely aligned themselves with the league when it comes to relocation. Davis has worked to build relationships with other owners to mend the fences after his father, Al Davis, spent many years opposing the league. Mark Davis actively extended himself and sought out other owners to make things better.
Notably, the first thing the younger Davis did was pay off his father's debt for breaking league rules. The settlement, into the tens of millions of dollars, went a long way in removing animosity; it was something Mark Davis felt strongly in doing upon inheriting the Raiders. Davis has been open-minded about all possibilities, including being the second team to move to L.A. and doing so in a league-owned stadium. The league would absolutely welcome a Davis-owned team in L.A., if that's what all parties deemed best.
The Chargers made the announcement earlier in the week that they are staying in San Diego next season, a clear sign that no one would be there next season. Had they thought another team could move to L.A. this year, they would've stayed in play. League sources confirmed this, saying neither of the other two teams whose leases allow them to move -- the Raiders and the Rams are the others -- will move this year.
With that in mind, the spotlight now shines on three sites: Hollywood Park, where Rams owner Stan Kroenke owns land; Carson, California, which has 172 acres that has been scouted by at least two NFL teams; and AEG's site that would create a downtown stadium. Those spots have shown themselves to be the viable ones.
The Chargers said they'll stay in San Diego in 2015 but noted, "Calendar year 2015 will constitute the team's fourteenth year of work on a San Diego stadium solution." The urgency was evident.
Meanwhile, the Rams, who have a deadline of Jan. 28 to decide if they are going to go year by year on their lease in St. Louis, expect to see a new stadium proposal in the next few weeks. It's also worth noting that the city chose not to unilaterally extend their lease for another 10 years, saying yes to the upgrade plans in the process, earlier in the year. That would've taken L.A. off the table for the Rams for a decade.
Now for the NFL, Los Angeles is essentially off the table for 2015.