Vikings aren't primary candidate for L.A.

The group trying to lure an NFL franchise to the Los Angeles market told the Associated Press that Jacksonville and Buffalo were at the top of their list. The Vikings are still a consideration by the group, but it says it won't interfere with clubs trying to get a new stadium deal.

Ever since the hurdles in front of developer Ed Roski of Los Angeles and his Majestic Realty Co. were cleared to build a stadium in the City of Industry, 25 miles east of downtown L.A., there has been a growing sense of dread that they are eyeballing the Vikings as their prime candidate for NFL relocation.

On Tuesday, Majestic's managing partner John Semcken told the Associated Press that the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars are the first teams they will be looking to lure as an NFL team to the L.A. market.

"Jacksonville and Buffalo are two teams in very, very small markets," Semcken told the AP. "They are teams that have either outdated stadiums or having trouble filling their stadiums or both."

Semcken added that the group hasn't and will not approach three other teams – the Vikings, 49ers and Chargers – as long as those teams continue to seek new stadium deals in their current locations. He said it "wouldn't be fair to interfere with their efforts to remain in their home markets."

The Roski group has said its preference is to find an ownership group willing to sell its franchise to a consortium of investors that Roski would lead, rather than buying a minority stake in a team that would relocate with its existing majority owner – in the case of the Vikings, Zygi Wilf – still in charge.

According to Semcken, there are still seven teams on the radar of the Majestic group – Jacksonville, Buffalo, San Francisco, San Diego, Minnesota, St. Louis and Oakland.

While it likely won't get the Vikings any closer to getting a new stadium in Minnesota, it's promising to see that the Vikings aren't at the front of the list of the franchises Los Angeles is trying to track down.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • The Bears announced Tuesday that Lovie Smith will return for his seventh season at the helm in Chicago, but he will no longer be calling defensive plays. The team did, however, announce the firing of offensive coordinator Ron Turner and five assistants Tuesday. The Bears finished 7-9 this season – the third straight year the team has missed the playoffs since losing in the Super Bowl to the Colts three years ago.

  • Percy Harvin joins an illustrious group of Vikings as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and the second time the Vikings have two offensive rookies of the year in a three-year span. He joins Paul Flatley (1963), Chuck Foreman (1973), Sammy White (1975), Randy Moss (1998) and Adrian Peterson (2007).

  • After his four-touchdown performance in Sunday's blowout 44-7 win over the Giants Sunday, Brett Favre was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. It was the third time he has won the honor this year – the most times in one year in his career – and the 16th time in his career he has been named a conference POW.

  • The Chargers signed former Viking Dontarrious Thomas Tuesday. Thomas, who spent much of his career with the Vikings, including a stint last year when E.J. Henderson went down with a foot injury, was signed to replace linebacker James Holt, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a shoulder injury.

  • The Saints will be without defensive end Charles Grant in the playoffs. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a triceps injury. The team re-signed veteran Paul Spicer to take his place on the roster.


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