Oakland Raiders, Chargers willing to move to NFC


A few months ago it was reported that if the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers were to move to Los Angeles as part of a package deal in a Carson stadium proposal that one of the two franchises would potentially have to change conferences in the process. A move that would set the two teams up in a situation similar to that in East Rutherford as the New York Jets and the New York Giants both share a stadium while playing in the AFC and NFC respectively. Leading many to believe that the Raiders and the Chargers would meet a similar fate if the two franchises were to relocate to the same venue in the Carson plan that would see the two AFC West rivals share a new stadium in the Los Angeles suburb.

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According to Carmen Policy, the man in charge of the Carson project for both the Raiders and the Chargers, the two teams are willing to make the move to another conference if that is what it takes to secure a move to a new stadium in Los Angeles. Potentially breaking up the proud history of the storied rivalries in the AFC West, a division that has kept historic divisional battles for decades despite realignment that has changed the makeup of other divisions through the years. The Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos all having many classic battles that could come to an end if Oakland or San Diego are forced to change conferences in order to make a shared stadium work for the NFL’s owners.

Policy told the Associated Press on Monday that the conference change would not be an issue for either owner. Telling reporters that if the two teams do end up in Carson, the NFL can then make a decision on how they will want the schedule to be set up when it comes to potential conference realignment to prevent two teams in the same city and same stadium playing in the same division.

“You send us to LA and you’ll make the decision as to who plays in what conference or division,” said Policy of the potential process should the Raiders and Chargers end up in the same stadium via Los Angeles relocation.

“There are some very interesting scenarios, depending on how all this turns out,” Policy added.

It seems unneeded to force either team to move conferences as a Raiders or Chargers move to the NFC would also force another franchise to likely move from the NFC West to the AFC West, further destroying the current setup that the NFL has in terms of division and conference structure. With the tradition the Raiders and Chargers have in the AFC West, the best move for the NFL would arguably be to try to see how they could keep the two teams in the same division while sharing a stadium. Something that shouldn’t be hard to argue for as unlike the Jets and Giants, the two AFC West teams have a proud history in their current divisions that would be lost with a conference change.

That sort of move is a big risk for the NFL, potentially damaging the league’s marketing on the West Coast and with four fanbases that eagerly look forward to the eight AFC West rivalry games their teams play each season. Throwing that away simply seems foolish on the NFL’s part, even if the two teams are willing to make the move to the NFC if it is forced upon them, the league should think long and hard before making a decision with so many ramifications.

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