SAN DIEGO (KUSI) - The reports Monday that negotiations for the Chargers to join the Rams in Inglewood were at impasse were denied Tuesday by both teams as false, saying the discussions are ongoing.
The fact they don't meet every day doesn't mean they're at impasse, it means Dean Spanos is struggling to figure out his next move.
Spanos has to negotiate with Stan Kroenke, a man he said he didn't trust, doesn't like and doesn't want to do business with, but the league came up with a process that forces him to put all of that aside if he's to protect his franchise.
Politicians trash the opposition all of the time, then turn around and call them friends. You don't often see that in the world of big business.
"Now you're turning around and saying basically you're going to make a marriage you're never going to get divorced from," said Jim Steeg, a former executive with the Chargers and the NFL. "That marriage is a very, very difficult thing to put together and then realize you can never walk away from."
Steeg believes the league orchestrated this outcome perhaps a year ago.
"That this was the route they wanted to go down in some way, shape or form," he said.
Steeg surmises getting to Los Angeles was part of Commissioner Roger Goodell's promise to double the league's income in the next decade.
He said the Rams were chosen because of their popularity in L.A. and Rams owner Stan Kroenke's wealth.
Steeg believes Goodell negotiated the deal with Kroenke long ago and that it was completed in Houston when the owners voted 30 to 2 to move the Rams.
The vote was culture shock to Spanos and it put Kroenke in the driver's seat.
"That turned once the decision was made, that's the floor of the deal, to get to the ceiling that's a heck of a lot more difficult," Steeg said.
That deal forced Spanos to partner up as a second fiddle in Inglewood or take an extra $100 million and return to San Diego.
"Financially in the short term, there's no doubt San Diego's a better deal short term and by that I mean 3-4 years," Steeg said.
But Spanos has to consider long term. His father passed the team to him, now he must pass the legacy to his sons.
"They've stated publicly they have no intention to sell it at this point," Spanos said. "If the stated goal is not to sell, then where you want to be and what makes you happy is going to be the biggest thing."
That's what makes this decision for Spanos so difficult financially and personally because of his relationship with San Diego.
But it's a decision that has to be made and sooner rather than later.
Inglewood or San Diego. The league has made its decision. It's now up to Dean Spanos to make his.