What if . . .





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What If ... the NFL landscape looked drastically different?

by Jacob Feldman

The L.A. Buccaneers? It could’ve happened. (By SI’s count, at least 21 NFL teams have looked seriously toward La La Land over the years.) With a few twists of fate—a stadium fire avoided here, a handshake deal followed through on there—the NFL could look mighty different. Which, of course, led us to imagine that world. Here are 32 teams that could easily exist today, if only ...

Jacksonville Oilers: Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams flirted with Gator Bowl in '87

St. Louis Stallions: Proposed expansion team in '95

Hartford Rams: Lost to St. Louis in '94 Rams bid

Arizona Eagles: Handshake agreement in '84 fell through

Los Angeles Seahawks: NFL intervened to stop move in '96

Cleveland Buccaneers: Bucs nearly became OSU Buckeyes' neighbors in '96

San Francisco Cardinals: Then-Chicago Cards were expected to fly west in '46

Memphis Falcons: Memphis was looking for a team right around the time Falcons weighed an '80s move

Albuquerque Saints: Rumored destination in '05

Houston Bears: Bob McNair tried to snag Bears in '99

Orlando Bengals: Orlando mayor Glenda Hood pitched team in '93

Carolina Cougars: Cougars ultimately lost to Panthers in naming decision

Cincinnati Buckeyes: Owner Paul Brown chose Bengals nickname over fan fave Buckeyes

Winston-Salem Broncos: N.C. bid for Broncos in '67, after Denver stadium was voted down

Portsmouth (Ohio) Lions: Played in Portsmouth until '34

Miami Packers: Speculation had this as one of several destinations for relocation in '56

Portland Colts: Owner Bob Irsay planned to meet with a Rose City developer in '79

New Orleans Texans: Dallas Texans chose K.C. instead in '63 (OK, the name probably would have changed)

Las Vegas Vikings: Vegas resident bid for team in '98

New York Patriots: Donald Trump wanted to build Pats a stadium in '88

Seattle Bills: Threatened move in '68

Dallas Giants: Dallas's Clint Murchison Jr. inquired about purchase in '50s

Los Angeles Jets: Discussed as part of '66 AFL-NFL merger

Sacramento Raiders: Sactown wooed Raiders in '87, '89

Louisville Steelers: Team considered a relocation offer in '56

Atlanta Chargers: Ownership chose San Diego instead in '60

Dallas 49ers: Takeover attempt failed in '53

Buffalo Redskins: Boston 'Skins moved to D.C. instead

Baltimore Bombers: Failed expansion attempt in '93

Birmingham Dolphins: Jimmy the Greek considered the move "almost even money" in '77

Frankford (Pa.) Yellow Jackets: Real team; five years after winning '26 NFL title, stadium fire dealt crippling blow to finances

Pottsville (Pa.) Maroons: Real team lost '25 NFL title due to controversial bans; folded in '29