The Chargers have an "out clause" that would permit them to leave San Diego that can be exercised any time between Feb. 1 and May 1. However, it would come with a price. If the team was to serve notice it was leaving after the 2009 season, the cost of the exit clause would be $56.2 million. That figure drops to $54.6 million next year and all the way down to $25.8 million in 2011.
While the Chargers front office has stated that there are no plans to bolt after next season, the fact remains that the team has hired the Los Angeles-based Wasserman Media Group to gauge the interest of moving the team to the country's second-largest media market. It is viewed by some as a leverage move against the City of San Diego to get off square one to get a deal completed, but, as in Minnesota, the recession has resulted in a huge state financial deficit that will make it difficult for San Diego to afford building a new stadium at a time of crisis.
Is the hiring of a marketing firm the first step in moving the Chargers to Los Angeles? Is it a legitimate sign that the L.A. market will get filled? Or is it simply a stare-down between the Chargers and the City of San Diego? Those questions are still up in the air. But, for Vikings fans, the potential of another team filling the one hot prospect on the NFL landscape is a positive sign. They would like to see Los Angeles filled by someone other than the Vikings.