Chargers Add Heat to Vikes Stadium Debate

The NFL's plan to locate an existing team in Los Angeles by the 2008 season looks like it won't include a franchise seen as the logical frontrunner -- the San Diego Chargers.

Earlier this year when Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the league's wish to have a team in Los Angeles in time for the 2008 season, Vikings fans cringed. For many, the fear of Red McCombs leaving Minnesota took on a new legitimacy.

But, in reality, the team many NFL inside types thought was the logical and most likely franchise was the San Diego Chargers. A moderately inept franchise that couldn't sign Eli Manning because his dad told him it was a headless organization they have, the Chargers seemed like a logical choice for a move. Their stadium lease was coming up, no realignment would be needed and hardcore Chargers fans would still get all the games on free TV.

But that's all changed. The Chargers and the city have reached a tentative agreement on a long-term association that will progress the likelihood of getting a new stadium built sometime in the future.

Among the concessions in the agreement is a guarantee that the Chargers will remain in San Diego through the 2008 season -- meaning if Tagliabue is correct in saying a team will be in L.A. for the 2008 season, it can't be the Chargers.

This potentially gives Red McCombs more ammunition in trying to push stadium legislation through. With one of the top contenders to make the move now out of the picture, the Vikings jump up the list of teams that are currently in the sites of league heads for relocation.

* Former Viking Nick Davis is now former Dophin Nick Davis -- he was released Monday. The Dolphins believe they have solved their depth problems at wide receiver by signing David Boston. If Boston's health history is any indication, Miami may want to keep Davis on speed-dial.

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