The Athletic’s Don Banks joined the Darren Smith Show on 1090 AM in San Diego on Thursday to discuss the disastrous Los Angeles Chargers. This week, Banks wrote a piece about how quickly things have gone south for Dean Spanos and his team in LA and during the interview he went ever further.
Banks even suggested the NFL is quietly talking about moving the team back to San Diego.
Listen to the entire interview below:
Banks has talked to a number of people inside the league and when asked what they think of Spanos, his response was telling:
“I have been painted a picture from people I’ve talked to that the league was sympathetic…to Dean Spanos’ plight. Feels like he had been a ‘league guy’ feels like he had waited kind of his turn on the relocation front, thought he had the votes the year before — Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke pretty much outmaneuvered Dean and Mark Davis with the Raiders to be the first in line for LA. So it was almost as if this was a bit of a make up.
“I can tell you this Darren, there are people in the league — including the commissioner — they did not want to see San Diego forsaken. They would rather there be a team in San Diego. If there’s anything viable that they could find to put the league back in to San Diego, I think they will be in that camp strongly.”
When discussing the optics of empty stadiums and the Chargers not being able to fill a 27,000-seat stadium with their own fans, Banks had this to say:
“They’re saying the right things now and they’re going to keep a stiff upper lip and say that ‘we knew that this was going to be a hard slog uphill.’ There’s a lot of concern already. And there’s a lot of people who are thinking, ‘How can we put up with these optics for the next three years if the Chargers can’t improve the situation in Carson?'”
When asked if he believed the league was possibly talking about forcing the Chargers back to San Diego if things don’t improve, Banks was blunt:
“I think they’re talking about it. I do. I think there’s already a level of concern at how far south it’s gone, that there are at least people talking about it…I don’t think a true tipping point has been reached, it’s too early for that. But I think there’s enough concern that people are saying, ‘What’s the best option perhaps among bad options?'”
The fact that we’re heading into Week 3 of the regular season and people around the league are already talking about moving the Chargers back to San Diego is simply incredible.