Report: Raiders would 'pounce' on San Diego if Chargers leave for L.A.

The city of San Diego might not be left out in the cold if the Chargers decide to make the move to Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Raiders would "pounce" on the opportunity to move to San Diego if the Chargers decide to leave, which means this billion-dollar game of relocation musical chairs should be wrapped up sometime in the next 12 months.

If the Chargers are going to move to Los Angeles, they have to make that decision by Jan. 15, 2017, which gives them roughly 12 months to negotiate a partnership with Stan Kroenke and the Rams for a spot in Inglewood, California.

The Chargers could join the Rams in Inglewood. (HKS)
The Chargers could join the Rams in Inglewood. (HKS)

A possible decision could come before that though, because the Chargers only have until March 23 to decide if they're going to move to L.A. for the 2016 season. If the Chargers decide to make the move sometime in the next two months, that will open the door for a Raiders move to San Diego.

Sending the Raiders to play in the city their division rivals occupied for 55 years might sound crazy, but it actually makes a lot of sense.

For one, jilted fans in San Diego would probably jump on the chance to support the Raiders, who would theoretically host the L.A. Chargers at least once per season, as long as both teams remain in the AFC West.

Another plus for the Raiders is that they already have a large Southern California fan base because they spent 13 seasons in L.A. (1982-94) before moving back to Oakland in 1995.

Also, it's believed the NFL wants to remain in San Diego, which is why the league has offered to throw in an extra $100 million on a stadium if the Chargers decide to stay. If the Chargers turn that money down, the Raiders would likely also be allowed to use it in San Diego.

The biggest plus for the Raiders though is that it might not cost very much to move. According to the Daily News, the NFL would consider waiving the Raiders' relocation fee because they'd be handing the league a lucrative open market in Oakland.

NFL teams could then use Oakland the same way that L.A. was used over the past 20 years: as leverage in any stadium deal.

As for San Diego, the city currently has a $1.1 billion stadium plan that would require $121 million in contributions from both county and city taxpayers for a total of $242 million.

The city would also chip in another $225 million by selling land around Qualcomm Stadium. The rest of the money would come from the team that plays there and the NFL, with the league now promising a total of $300 million.

San Diego's proposed stadium might be silver and black. (City of San Diego)
San Diego's proposed stadium might be silver and black. (City of San Diego)

That would leave the Chargers or Raiders on the hook for about $333 million of stadium costs. That number would be almost perfect for Davis, who said in May 2015 that he could chip in about $300 million in stadium costs.

Davis' money doesn't help him in Oakland because there's no public money available, and the Raiders still need to find about $400 million more to cover the costs of the proposed stadium on top of the $300 million they've already offered.

If the Raiders do move to San Diego, there will be at least one Chargers player who wouldn't be thrilled to see them there: Philip Rivers.

"That one is going to get me a little nauseated, to be honest with you," Rivers said of a Raiders move this week on Mighty 1090-AM in San Diego. "The thought of that one is a little sickening. That one is hard to stomach. It's hard enough thinking about moving."

The Raiders' lease in Oakland has expired, so the team is technically free to play anywhere in 2016, as long as they can get NFL approval.

As for the Chargers, if they decide to stay in San Diego, you can bet the Raiders will pounce on the opportunity to join the Rams in L.A. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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