As the Eagles’ coaching search is put on hold while owner Jeffery Lurie attends the owners’ meetings, the league-wide debate about Los Angeles relocation has taken center stage. Developments on Tuesday may have a significant impact on the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles.
The Los Angeles committee formally recommended that the owners move forward with the Carson project, which would send the Chargers and Raiders to Carson, California. At a hotel Starbucks, Bob Iger told reporters he felt confident about the approval of the Carson project, which would require 24 of the 32 owners to vote in favor.
If this project goes through, one of the two teams would need to move to the NFC West due to logistics, the same way the Jets and Giants are situated. To retain the four-team balance across all divisions, the league would need to move one of the NFC West teams to the AFC. Because the Eagles are set to face the second place team in the NFC West next year, a divisional realignment would change the team’s schedule.
It’s likely that the Seahawks, who played in the AFC West in 1977-2002, would likely move back to their old division. Because the Seahawks are currently slated as the Eagles’ NFC West opponent (both teams finished second in their divisions), their likely move to the AFC would take the Eagles’ toughest opponent off the schedule.
The Eagles’ new West foe would depend on which of the two LA teams the NFL chooses to move to the NFC. By record, the Rams would be second in the NFC West if Chargers come to NFC, and the Raiders would be second in the NFC West if they come to NFC. Oakland brass has stated publicly that the team is open to moving to the NFC. However, if the league decides the Chargers should switch conferences, the Eagles would be lined up with a trip to London to face the St. Louis Rams.
The last game of 2015 against the Giants was to decide whether the 2016 Eagles travelled to Seattle or London. It appears the result of the season finale will have no bearing on the schedule. The Eagles, who won and set up a 2016 matchup in Seattle, may have caught a huge break via the NFL’s craving for cash.
UPDATE (1/12/16 8:25 PM): The NFL has announced that the St. Louis Rams will be moving to Inglewood, California for the 2016 season. The Chargers will have first preference to move in 2017. If they choose not to move, the Raiders would have the opportunity to relocate.
In short, the Eagles’ schedule will not be affected, save for two potential trips to Los Angeles in 2017. See you next season in Seattle, Eagles Nation!
Photo: Rod Mar-Seattle Seahawks