The NFL’s Los Angeles relocation committee has recommended that the owners accept the Chargers and Raiders plan. That means realignment is coming if owners vote yes.
The Seattle Seahawks back in the AFC West? That is becoming increasing probable as the owners meet to decide the league’s path ahead for Los Angeles.
The NFL’s committee on LA recommended today that the owners vote to move ahead on the Carson project that’ll house the Raiders and Chargers. The recommendation isn’t binding, but it will hold a lot of weight for the owners.
NFL committee recommends joint bid between Raiders & Chargers to build $1.7B stadium in Carson. (via ESPN sources & multiple reports)
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 12, 2016
Here’s the sticking point: Those two teams cannot share a stadium and be in the same conference. Both teams have said they’ll be open to moving to the NFC West if that’s what it takes to get the stadium built.
There is nothing stipulated in Raiders/Chargers proposal about which team would move to NFC West should it pass. Either team open to it…
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 12, 2016
Notice that doesn’t “if a team moves.” It says “which team will move”. That means that the Seahawks get bounced back to the home they had for most of their existence.
And that is really too bad. The old AFC rivalries have faded. The current ones with Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis have been tremendous some some time now.
Of course, that isn’t the only option on the table. There is a (very) small chance that the NFL will undergo a massive realignment instead.
The NFL will eventually have to realign a lot more than 1-2 teams. When they do, expect Bills to be with PIT, CLEV, (prob) CIN in AFC North
— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) January 12, 2016
The point here was that Ralph Wilson was the force that kept the Bills in the same division as the Dolphins, even though it made little sense for anyone else. With new ownership, there is now a push from the Bills to create regional rivalries.
That move, along with the Raiders/Chargers move to LA, could create a set of dominoes that’ll end up with a completely different looking NFL. The options become endless, as there are many better scenarios than what currently exists for divisions.