Of all the offseason moves the Chargers made, the decision to bring in former 49ers exec Carmen Policy to the fold may have been the biggest. Policy is a natural born charmer, and having him help politic for the team's Inglewood stadium project has gone over well with influential owners, sources said.

"It's like everybody who matters loves Carmen," one high-ranking NFL told me. Chargers owner Dean Spanos has been a loyal, league-first guy for a long, long time, and if he calls around and starts calling in his favors, his LA plan might be hard to beat.

Keep in mind, eventually the owners have to vote on this and get behind one of these options, and Spanos has a lot more cachet than St. Louis owner Stan Kroenke.

"There is a popularity contest aspect to this process, at least to some degree," the official said.

Policy has only bolstered Spanos' candidacy it would seem.

Speaking of the Los Angeles situation, I wouldn't be bracing for any sort of hard news coming out of the owner's meeting in Chicago Aug. 11. It's limited to one representative per team and I'm sure the league will want to play it close to the vest, but soon enough the powers that be are going to have to nudge this process in one direction or the other, and get behind either the Inglewood or Carson project (my money is still on Carson. That process will continue to evolve at this meeting and perhaps come to fruition at the annual fall meeting in October.

"I think that the time frame we're working from is somewhere around year's end, give or take," influential Steelers owner Art Rooney, who sits on the LA committee, told me. "We need to make a decision on this, and I think there's a good chance we'll have a team playing there next year, at least one. But there's work to be done. I don't think we'll be ready to make any decisions in August, but we have to be setting things up so a decision can be made by the end of the year or so."

Chargers owner Dean Spanos (right) has plenty of cachet among the NFL's power brokers.  (USATSI)
Chargers owner Dean Spanos (right) has plenty of cachet among the NFL's power brokers. (USATSI)