Several NFL owners who were in contact with Chargers ownership at the just-completed NFL meetings said that Dean Spanos is resigned to the fact he must move his team to Los Angeles during next month's window to do so and has every intention of doing just that.
As we've reported since before the season, there are no viable options seen to staying in San Diego, and with each week events continue to cement what is becoming an increasingly inevitable move in January.
"He doesn't have a choice from an economic standpoint, and he knows it," said one ownership source with another club with strong ties to Spanos. "He's as good as gone. He basically told us that he has no choice."
"It's over," another ownership source said. "They're going to Los Angeles. It's just a matter of announcing it. There aren't any miracles here."
Spanos continues to work with the NFL about the manner in which he will fund the pending $550 million relocation fee; Spanos would have 10 years to pay it out starting with the opening of the new stadium in Inglewood in 2019, and the Chargers may end up taking out a loan to be able to put up a considerable chunk of the half-billion dollars up front rather than simply pay out the higher yearly requirement (plus interest).
The Chargers are far along that process, the other owners said, and the league is amenable to several different payment structures.
Spanos spoke recently with the mayor of San Diego and city council members, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, seeking any final solution to his stadium quandary there, but to no avail. League sources said Spanos will not announce any move until after the season, even with the Chargers falling out of contention and facing the prospect of having to go to a silent count -- at home -- against the Raiders on Sunday with a preponderance of Oakland fans expected in attendance.