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Owners in wait-and-see mode on L.A.

Soon, the NFL will attempt to fill the 20-year-old Los Angeles vacancy. For now, no one really knows how it will play out.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it remains too early to know what will happen after, as expected, Chargers owner Dean Spanos, Rams owner Stan Kroenke, and Raiders owner Mark Davis apply for permission to move to Los Angeles. A handful of owners have an agenda that favors one outcome, a handful of owners have an agenda that favors another outcome. Most, according to the source, are still waiting for all of the information.

At the recent ownership meeting, the process consisted primarily of going around the room, allowing the assembled owners to give their opinions. One source described it as a “waste of time.” From the perspective of the the Commissioner and the members on the Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities, it’s a potentially important part of the effort to build a final consensus; by listening to each of the opinions expressed, the powers-that-be will be better equipped to separate the owners into the various camps, in order to eventually determine who will need to be nudged in which direction as the final effort to cultivate 24 votes approaches. Also, the formal effort to give everyone a voice will prevent someone from later claiming that they didn’t get a fair chance to express their views.

The consensus-building and temperature-taking will continue behind closed doors over the next month or so, with the goal of knowing exactly how many votes will favor which outcome before the January 12-13 meeting starts. A key component will be the final recommendation of the Committee, which surely will be influenced in part by the question of whether enough votes can be harvested in support of the Committee’s preferred alternative.

It’s strange to think that, barely a month away from the effort to select an L.A. solution, no one knows what the solution will be. There’s a chance no one will know what it is until the owners get in a room together and hash it all out.

There’s also a chance that, when the time comes to get in a room together and hash it all out, it will be impossible to get to 24 votes. For now, that’s a scenario that the league will worry about if/when it happens.