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NFL relocation: San Diego move to LA brings up idea of no teams ever moving

What would the NFL look like if no team was ever allowed to move?

Thursday, the San Diego Chargers officially announced their plans to move to Los Angeles, becoming the Los Angeles Chargers and giving the LA market a second NFL team just a year after the Los Angeles Rams returned from St. Louis after 21 seasons there. Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders, who have their own Los Angeles history, are expected to petition the league to move to Las Vegas. It’s been a crazy couple of offseasons involving NFL teams relocating.

Which made me wonder, what would the NFL look like if no team was ever allowed to move. There are some questions as how to do this, like teams that “moved” but according to the NFL records, never did - or teams that have always existed, though we all remember them coming back into the league as an expansion franchise (there are two Cleveland logos on the map for this reason, meaning we actually have 33 logos for the 32 teams). The graphic below also uses the current logo for the team, even if they have changed their name. Finally, teams that have folded - or the Steagles or Card-Pitt for the 1943 and 1944 seasons - are not included in this. This also does not consider a move from within New York City to East Rutherford, New Jersey as a relocation.

Obviously, there is also the point of things like Houston not adding a team if the Oilers/Titans had not left for Tennessee. Or Baltimore having the same issue if the Colts never left, which would have made the Ravens not move there from Cleveland.

We are looking only at the 32 teams currently in the league, and taking them back to their original cities (including the original cities for the AFL teams).

Teams that have never moved

Teams that have never moved - though we all saw them move

Teams that we all saw move - but officially did not move

Teams that have moved once

  • Chicago Bears - Decatur Staleys (1920), Chicago Staleys (1921), Chicago Bears (1922-Present)
  • Detroit Lions - Portsmouth Spartans (1930-1933), Detroit Lions (1934-Present)
  • Washington Redskins - Boston Braves (1932), Boston Redskins (1933-1936), Washington Redskins (1937-Present)
  • Indianapolis Colts - Baltimore Colts (1953-1983), Indianapolis Colts (1984-Present)
  • Tennessee Titans - Houston Oilers (1960-1996), Tennessee Oilers 1997-1998, Tennessee Titans (1999-Present) [Tennessee played the 1997 season in Memphis before moving to their permanent home in Nashville]
  • Kansas City Chiefs - Dallas Texans (1960-1962), Kansas City Chiefs (1963-Present)

Teams that moved, then went back

  • Los Angeles Chargers - Los Angeles Chargers (1960), San Diego Chargers (1961-2016), Los Angeles Chargers (2017-Present)
  • Oakland Raiders - Oakland Raiders (1960-1981), Los Angeles Raiders (1982-1994), Oakland Raiders (1995-Present)

Teams that have moved multiple times

  • Arizona Cardinals - Chicago Cardinals (1920-1959), St. Louis Cardinals (1960-1987), Phoenix Cardinals (1988-1993), Arizona Cardinals (1994-Present) [PIT/CHI Cardinals combined team in 1944]
  • Los Angeles Rams - Cleveland Rams (1937-1945), Los Angeles Rams (1946-1994), St. Louis Rams (1995-2015), Los Angeles Rams (2016-Present)