It's not unexpected, but it is official -- the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have all filed for relocation to Los Angeles, California:
It's not unexpected. Filing was always a precursor to actually getting the owners to decide between the individualists and collectivists. While recent reporting suggests the collectivists have grown in popularity over the course of the season, the ultimate question remains as to how much the owners and the league would join together to punish Rams owner Stan Kroenke in the event of an unsanctioned move.
Nonetheless, it's one more major, anticipated step checked off ahead of the owner meetings covering a potential vote on the issue, January 12-13.
Worth noting is the franchise's public silence on the matter. Whereas the Chargers put out a press release as well as a video from Owner Dean Spanos on the filing, the Rams Owner Stan Kroenke has remained silent.
The Rams have offered this incredibly profound statement on the filing:
The St. Louis Rams informed the National Football League today that the Rams propose to relocate to the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The relocation would be effective for the 2016 NFL League Year.
The NFL, meanwhile, published the following statement:
Three teams – the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and San Diego Chargers – each submitted applications to our office today to relocate their franchises to the Los Angeles area beginning with the 2016 season. Each team submitted the appropriate documentation in support of its application as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations.
The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday -- the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees. The applications will be presented for consideration at next week’s league meeting in Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs (24 of 32).