Over the last week, we've heard more and more chatter about NFL teams to LA. Last Sunday, Mike Florio reported a league source said the current plan was to move one or two teams to Los Angeles in the next 12 to 24 months. Later in the week, the mayor of LA said it was highly likely we would see an NFL team in town within the next year.
The three teams most likely to move to LA are the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and St. Louis Rams. Earlier this week, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reporting that he heard the Raiders and Chargers were the most likely candidates. He also said that if both teams moved, the Raiders would be willing to move to the NFC West to maintain balance. The league apparently would not want two teams in the same conference occupying LA. Additionally, Rams owner Stan Kroenke might want sole control of LA, rather than splitting it with a team.
As always, these two should be taken with a grain of salt. Both have good sources, and both are correct at times. Howev both also sometimes seem to be making stuff up. They might have a kernel of truth, but then they seem to extrapolate it out too far.
Cole said that if the Raiders moved to LA and the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks might be the team that moves to the AFC West. They have a history with the division, having moved their after one season in the NFC West. They then returned to the NFC West in 2002. At the same time, the 49ers and Seahawks have developed a rivalry that is unmatched in the NFL right now. It does not have the extensive history of other rivalries, but there is no NFL rivalry that is quite as white hot as this one.
If the NFL were to make such a switch, it would seemingly cut this rivalry off just as it was at its hottest. It remains to be seen if 49ers-Seahawks will remain this hot over time. If they remain in the same division, the rivalry will remain intact, but there could be times where it is not quite as intense. And once Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll are out of the picture at some point in the future, who knows what will happen with the rivalry.
For now though, I'm not holding my breath for a team in LA in the next year or two. I think eventually the NFL ends up back in LA, but there seem to be enough problems right now figuring out any particular stadium financing issues. Of course, a lot can happen in 12-24 months. If a deal gets done, a team could quickly be there and playing in the LA Coliseum or Rose Bowl while the stadium gets finished. So who knows exactly how this will all play out. But moving the Raiders and Seahawks between divisions would certainly mix things up.