Jul 28, 2014; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders players join hands in a huddle at training camp at Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders Will Not Extend Lease, Move To LA Coming?

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Another day, another rumor that an NFL team may be on their way to Los Angeles.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve gone into the possibilities of an NFL team, most likely the Oakland Raiders or St. Louis Rams, making a return to Los Angeles after 20 years.

Without getting too confident, because after all this is Los Angeles and the NFL, it looks a move to L.A. is becoming more and more likely. News broke this morning that Raiders owner Mark Davis, son of Al, will not ask for an extension on the organizations lease at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland. The Raiders lease at the Coliseum is up after this season, meaning the team would be free to leave their current digs and seeker greener pastures.

Davis has met with city officials in San Antonio about a possible relocation, though it’s highly unlikely that the Raiders would be able to move their for a couple of reasons. First, there is no way the Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans would allow the Raiders to infiltrate their market. Jerry Jones has said previously that San Antonio is “very important” to the Cowboys. Second, the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs are opposed to a move by the Raiders into their city.

What is becoming more likely; however, is that the Raiders will return to Los Angeles sometime within the next 24 months. Or at least that’s what Mr. Earvin “Magic” Johnson thinks. Johnson spoke with the media while attending the Raiders and Cowboys joint practices in Oxnard, California yesterday. He had this to say about the Raiders returning to Los Angeles.

“It would be great to have the Raiders back in L.A., I would love for that to happen,” Johnson said. “But that’s going to be up to Mark and the Raiders and the NFL. But I would love to have the Raiders back in L.A. where they belong.

Johnson, who is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is eager for the NFL to return to Los Angeles. There is no doubt that the Guggenheim Baseball Partners, the ownership group of the Dodgers, would like to be involved with the NFL in Los Angeles, whether it’s in the stadium, the real estate, or as owners of a team. Here’s what Johnson had to say about the NFL’s potential return to Los Angeles:

“I think for the first time, I truly believe we’re going to get a team. Finally,” Johnson said. “Everybody is on board. The city is on board. The business community is on board. The NFL is on board. Finally we have momentum. In the next couple years, at least in the next 24 months, I think one team will be coming. I don’t know what team that will be, but I believe in the next two years we’ll have a team.”

“Everybody is on board. The city is on board. The business community is on board. The NFL is on board. Finally we have momentum. In the next couple years, at least in the next 24 months, I think one team will be coming” – Magic Johnson

An NFL team committed to Los Angeles within the next 24 months? Potentially two? We’ve heard this kind of talk before in Los Angeles. However, it seems to be gathering steam all around the league. Owners such as Robert Kraft, Stephen Ross, and Jerry Jones have all come out in support of a franchise relocating to Los Angeles and believe it will happen within a reasonably short time frame. The league office is looking into perhaps privately financing a stadium deal and leasing it back to one or two of it’s franchises. The NFL may hold the 2015 NFL Draft in Los Angeles. All signs are pointing towards a team moving to Los Angeles in the near future.

The questions is quickly becoming “when” and “who”, no longer it is an “if”. Who knows?

But for a second just imagine this: It’s April 29th, 2015 and we’re at the Nokia Theatre for the 2015 NFL Draft. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell walks to the stage and says, “Welcome Football Fans! The Los Angeles Raiders hold the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and are now on the clock”.

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Tags: Los Angeles Magic Johnson Mark Davis NFL

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