San Diego Chargers stadium czar Mark Fabiani says the team plans to file relocation papers for Los Angeles with the NFL, as do the owners of the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders:
“If everything is moving ahead, obviously we’re not going to be standing on the sidelines and watching everything go by,” Fabiani told Dan Sileo on the Mighty 1090 AM. “We’ve got to stay in the game to protect the franchise.”
I mean, of course they are: Filing relocation papers doesn’t commit anybody to actually moving to L.A., it just keeps your options open, or at least as open as the other NFL owners decide to allow them to be. Everything that’s been reported in every city in recent weeks about the L.A. relocation dance has been just a matter of creating leverage, and we can expect to see it continue as the next window for an NFL decision (roughly January-February) grows ever nearer, though the league still has the option to punt everything to 2017. I’d still put my money on that, frankly — there’s still a lot of shaking down of St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland yet to be done — but I don’t expect anything to get much clearer before the last minute. Until then, we have announcements like this to fill column inches.