Los Angeles is the No. 2 television market in the country. The fact that it doesn't have a football team when, not too long ago it had two, hasn't been lost on NFL executives.
The NFL is a need-based organization and the Vikings could wind up playing a key role in an attempt by both the league and a shop-teacher's handful (the opposite of a baker's dozen) of teams looking to use L.A. as a leverage point in getting a franchise to relocate.
So, as one VU reporter was doing a routine bouncing of potential storylines with a team source, the following emerged. An investment group called Anschutz Entertainment Group has been seeking approval -- and apparently got the local blessing -- to get a stadium site re-zoned in Los Angeles for the purpose of building a stadium -- not a Field of Dreams, but more a "Build it and eventually someone will come" scenario.
While still in the early stages, the San Diego Chargers are the first team on a short list of teams AEG is looking to woo. If talks fall through with the Chargers, New Orleans and its on-again, off-again stadium lease proposal is next. Then come the Vikings and Arizona Cardinals.
While it may be comforting to know that the Vikings are currently No. 3 on the list of who AEG is looking to supplant in Los Angeles, the fact that a team called the Lakers -- as in 10,000 Lakes -- is already in L.A. and Red McCombs is growing increasingly weary of the babblings of Legislators that represent constituents who never see stoplights bemoaning a new stadium, having a willing suitor should be viewed as a bad sign for Vikings fans.
The NFL won't contract the Vikings, but if a stadium deal isn't worked out, Minneapolis could become Omaha with good music.
* One of the reasons the Vikings haven't jumped on the safety bandwagon is that nobody else around the NFL is. ESPN reported Friday that eight or nine veteran free agent safeties remain on the open market and likely will until after June 1 because the free agent landscape doesn't have a great respect for safeties. Seeing as the Vikes legitimately need two starting safeties, this is a good sign, since a pair of potential starters could cost the Vikings $1.5 million this year or possibly less.
* Roman Oben, an offensive lineman rumored by VU's own Touchdown Tony Parker as being a Vikes recruit, is said to currently be debating signing with Tampa or Baltimore.
* In other "no Vikes" news, DT Sam Adams has been mentioned on the rumor wire of staying with Baltimore or going to Cincinnati, Philly or Washington. But, once again, the Vikes aren't being mentioned.
* In a follow-up to a previous story, a pair of Twin Cities media outlets have claimed the Vikes won't pursue a trade for WR Derrick Alexander if it appears the market for him will be steep after he is contractually released June 1 -- for the 10th time, it's not "if" he's let go, it's "when" because he signed a new deal with that stipulation (read this for the last time TC columnists). However, VU again was told, if push comes to shove later this month, the Vikes will be willing to ship a late-round pick to K.C. to assure they get the guy they want.
* Moe Williams continues to talk to the Vikes, but may want to stay with Baltimore, since the Vikes are planning to go with a one-back offense and he would have to compete with Michael Bennett and Doug Chapman for limited chances to be on the field.
* OL Kendyl Jacox, who visited the Vikings earlier this week, was in Tennessee Friday to talk with the Titans.
Group Looking to Move Team to L.A.
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