Mike Florio: Chiefs Would Demand Realignment In Chargers/Raiders Move To Los Angeles

This take isn’t nearly as hot as what he said about Peyton Manning last night, but it’s still hot enough to raise some eyebrows:

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Chiefs believe it would be an unfair advantage for both the Chargers and Raiders to have what amounts to an extra home game every year in the form of a road game. And it would be; both teams would have one less travel obligation per year, and that could indeed create a competitive advantage for those teams — along with a competitive disadvantage for the other two in the division.

The other team that would be equally impacted by this, of course, are the Broncos.  I’m skeptical that it would create that much of a competitive advantage, but there’s an easy way to solve such a problem: require that the Chargers and Raiders devote a home game overseas as a condition of moving to Los Angeles.  If that’s a condition that the Rams would balk at, then it just gives the Chargers and Raiders another advantage in squeezing the Rams out.

I’m also skeptical that realignment is needed for other cited reasons, mostly having to do with television.  Yes, CBS would get a double dose of the #2 media market, but the AFC contract is already significantly smaller by terms of media markets (the NFC would exclusively have the #3-#7 markets in this scenario), and getting Los Angeles twice would make things more even in that regard.  And thanks to the new addition of cross-flexing (first used in a Broncos game in fact, against the Vikings in 2011), it’s no longer mandatory that every AFC/AFC game has to be on CBS, thus the potential problem of the Chargers and Raiders airing on the same network can also be dealt with.

But if realignment must happen, then it better be the Chargers that get realigned, as the Raiders can’t leave the AFC West until the Broncos regain the head-to-head record over the Raiders.  But while that reason is selfish on my part, I think the Chiefs have their own selfish reasons in the race to Los Angeles.  If the Rams are the team that moves, that means that the Chiefs can get all of Missouri to themselves.  And while the Chiefs have one of the best local draws in the NFL, they aren’t exactly a big draw beyond the Kansas City metro area, so picking up more fans in the greater St. Louis area couldn’t hurt.

And for that matter, I would guess that the Broncos would favor the Rams in this battle, as well.  They have built a pretty decent following in Southern California, as the swaths of orange in the stands at San Diego demonstrates.  If a team has to move to Los Angeles, I’m sure they would much prefer that it’s not one or two division rivals that make that move.