Could the Raiders save San Diego?


Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) talk after the Raiders beat the Chargers 37-29 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Fans in San Diego have been left to sit and wonder when—or even how soon—their Chargers could be moving to Los Angeles. All that is left is for the Chargers to work out a deal with the Rams to play in the same stadium. Such a move seems almost inevitable.

If that occurs, San Diego fans would feel exactly like those in St. Louis have ever since the league allowed the Rams to move to Los Angeles. However, the city could land a new team quickly.

As Adam Shefter of ESPN reports, the Raiders could move to San Diego if the Chargers opt to bolt (pun intended) for the City of Angels. The move could happen as early as 2017.

At the NFL owners meetings where the move from St. Louis to Los Angeles was announced for the Rams, Raiders owner Mark Davis made it clear that he will be actively looking for a home for his team. It seems increasingly likely that the team isn’t long for Oakland.

How would this leave fans in San Diego feeling? On one hand, the team that has called San Diego home since 1961 would be gone. On the other, one of their most hated rivals could be moving in.

The Chargers and Raiders have been playing games against one another since 1960. They have met 113 times. Though it would be tough for fans of the Chargers to suddenly root for the Raiders, the city would still have professional football. That’s better than being in St. Louis, right?

On top of that, San Diego would inherit a football team with a bright future. The combination of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper will be one of the league’s best connections for the next decade. Latavius Murray is a solid running back to build a ground attack around and Khalil Mack is one of the top five defensive players in the league.

The Raiders finished the 2015 season at 7-9 and there is plenty of reason for optimism.

Should the Chargers leave and the Raiders move in, current San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers won’t be among those that are thrilled about it. In an interview with Mighty 1090 AM, Rivers had the following to say:

“That one is going to get me a little nauseated, to be honest with you. The thought of that one is a little sickening. That one is hard to stomach. It’s hard enough thinking about moving. It’s more than wins and losses. The thought of the Raiders being here and us not might be tougher than all the rest.”

Fans of the Chargers want the team to stay and the players almost certainly want to stay as well. Owner Dean Spanos doesn’t want the same thing. But whatever Spanos doesn’t see as a good thing in San Diego might be quite appealing to Davis.

So if football leaves San Diego, it could be back in record time. There’s worse things than cheering for the Raiders, right?