Carmen Policy

West Notes: Gates, Matthews, Raiders, Cards

While the Chargers have a lesser need at the tight end position than they did when they brought Antonio Gates back for a 16th season, a 17th Gates campaign with the Bolts remains on the radar. But the team has the future Hall of Famer on the back-burner for the time being. Budgetary issues represent the Chargers’ near-future concerns, with Anthony Lynn saying (via Pro Football Talk) Tuesday the team informed Gates it may be a bit before a decision is reached on whether or not to bring him back. Tom Telesco sounded optimistic about a Gates return in January. Hunter Henry stands to be healthy for training camp, and Virgil Green remains on the roster. The Chargers had this duo healthy during free agency last year and bid farewell to Gates. Henry’s injury brought the parties back together, with Gates making $2.5MM. It will be interesting to see if the Bolts have all three on their roster this season.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • With Isaiah Crowell set to visit the Raiders on Thursday, the futures of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin may soon become even more uncertain. However, Jon Gruden said (via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, subscription required) the door remains open on Lynch. Martin, however, may see Crowell — if Gruden gets his wish and he signs — push him aside. Martin’s asking price may have been too high, per Tafur (on Twitter). The Raiders had wanted to re-sign Martin, but not much has transpired on this front since free agency opened. Martin bounced back after consecutive seasons of 2.9 yards per carry, averaging 4.2 per tote and being the Raiders’ primary rusher following Lynch’s injury.
  • Clay Matthews received a decent mid-level deal to sign with the Rams, with Lindsey Thiry of reporting (on Twitter) the veteran outside linebacker’s contract is for two years and $12.75MM. Of that total, $6.5MM is guaranteed. Matthews’ deal can max out at $16.75MM. Matthews made more than $10MM in base salary in each of the past two seasons.
  • The NFL has intervened on the Broncos‘ ownership situation. Roger Goodell said 49ers GM Carmen Policy is serving as the arbitrator for the dispute between the Broncos’ Pat Bowlen Trust members and the owner’s two oldest daughters — Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter links). This process began a few weeks ago. Both Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer have filed a motion to dismiss the arbitration, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (on Twitter). This is Policy’s first time serving as an NFL arbitrator. The Bowlen Trust members are seeking the arbitrator to determine who will take over as the next Broncos owner, among other points (per Jhabvala). Brittany Bowlen has long been viewed as the Trust’s preferred candidate, and the 29-year-old is expected to return to the Broncos this year.
  • A defensive tackle in the Chargers’ 4-3 defense the past two seasons, Darius Philon will return to a role as a 3-4 defensive end with his new team. The Cardinals are planning to use Philon as an end, Kliff Kingsbury said (via’s Josh Weinfuss, on Twitter).
  • C.J. Prosise saw another injury cost him time last season, and Pete Carroll said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) Tuesday the fourth-year running back underwent abdominal surgery recently. The Seahawks lost Mike Davis but still have Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Carroll remains hopeful Prosise can contribute, but the former third-round pick has gained just 129 yards from scrimmage over the past two seasons.

Latest On Los Angeles Relocation

The Rams, Raiders, and Chargers will learn their fate regarding a potential move to Los Angeles before this season’s Super Bowl, according to Carmen Policy, who is pushing the joint stadium project being proposed by the latter two teams.

We expect the league to have a decision on who is going where and St. Louis before the Super Bowl,” said Policy (via Tom Pelissero of USA Today). “Now, it could happen this year. But we’ve been pretty well-schooled on the fact that even if it doesn’t happen this year, it’ll happen before the Super Bowl.”

Here are the latest developments on the Los Angeles situation..

  • Policy claims that a combo of the Chargers and Raiders in Los Angeles would create a “megamarket” ranging from Santa Barbara to Mexico, adding millions of fans, Pelissero tweets.
  • If the Carson project for the Raiders and Chargers is approved, Policy says that 2019 is a realistic start, Pelissero tweets. Policy doesn’t feel that an opening in 2018 is realistic.
  • NFL exec Eric Grubman says there “has been no viable proposal” made to the Raiders from the city of Oakland, Ian Rapoport of tweets.
  • Grubman says there are a lot of open questions regarding the city of San Diego’s plan for the Chargers, but that city has made “significant” progress, Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times tweets.
  • The Rams are claiming St. Louis breached their lease by not meeting first tier requirements, thus giving team the right to move, Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch tweets.
  • The cities of St. Louis, Oakland, and San Diego will have an audience with the owners in October, Albert Breer of tweets. After the presentations on their respective projects, the Raiders, Rams and Chargers left the room to allow the other 29 clubs to discuss what they saw, Breer tweets.
  • The NFL’s relocation policy allows space for moving teams to pay a transfer fee to the league’s other owners and Mike Florio of PFT says that will be a big factor in who gets a seat in this game of musical chairs.
  • The Chargers want Los Angeles in the worst way, Jill Lieber Steeg of U-T San Diego opines.

Latest On Chargers’ Possible Relocation

The 2015 season may be the last one in San Diego for the Chargers, who are free to break their lease thereafter and head elsewhere – likely to Carson, Calif. If you’re to believe Jason Roe, the spokesman for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the franchise’s future in the city it has called home since 1961 looks as bleak as it ever has.

Roe on Wednesday released an acerbic statement accusing the Chargers of never intending to bargain with the city, tweeted Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole.

“The truth is, [the Chargers] were never at the table. They’ve misled the fans and our elected officials and civic leaders by saying they wanted to remain in San Diego when in fact they initiated the process of relocation to LA a year ago,” Roe said.

Roe went on to state that the Chargers haven’t worked “toward a solution but instead put up phony roadblocks to success.”

Chargers counsel Mark Fabiani fired back at Roe, per Cole (via Twitter).

“The Chargers will never be part of the city’s legally dubious effort to deal with the California Environmental Quality Act,” Fabiani stated. “City officials are of course free to drive themselves off the cliff into legal oblivion with a half-baked Environmental Impact Report, but the team has no intention of hitching itself to the city’s misguided, doomed scheme.”

When asked about potentially building a new stadium in San Diego, Fabiani said Tuesday (according to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Nick Canepa), “There’s no point in doing anything until we get an EIR (environmental impact report).”

The Chargers will have to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act to get a new stadium built in San Diego, but the team declared a proposed Dec. 15 stadium vote impossible because of environmental problems, the Union-Tribune’s David Garrick wrote Wednesday.

Of course, stadium-related environmental issues in San Diego won’t matter if the Chargers are truly bent on relocating. Faulconer tweeted Wednesday that the city and team are pulling in opposite directions, with San Diego trying to retain the club and the Chargers working toward a departure.

Moreover, longtime league executive Carmen Policy – whom the Chargers and Raiders hired last month to oversee the building of a stadium in Carson – told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Thursday (Twitter link) that both teams “are totally committed to the Carson project and the site is shovel ready.”

Policy also stated (Twitter link) that the goal of both the league and LA is to land two teams.

Chargers Notes: Policy, Barksdale, Spanos

The Chargers and Raiders have hired Carmen Policy to oversee the potential football project the two teams would share, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (on Twitter). Policy, who held senior roles with the 49ers and Browns and has been out of the NFL for over a decade, believes that the NFL will put the project “on the fast track.” Since leaving the NFL, Policy’s main occupation has been his winery in Napa, but he says he’s excited to be back in football in some capacity. Here’s more on the Chargers..

  • Right tackle Joe Barksdale is visiting the Chargers, as Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes. The veteran started 29 games the past two seasons, all at right tackle, for the Rams.
  • Chargers Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos announced that his two sons will be elevated to President-level roles. A.G. Spanos has been named President – Business Operations and John Spanos has assumed the role of President – Football Operations. John held the position of executive vice president of football operations for the past two seasons.
  • Dean Spanos will now focus on the Chargers’ stadium situation, Jim Trotter of writes.