March 27, 2017 - 2:45 pm
The American Professional Football Association was founded in 1920. Fourteen teams played in the inaugural season, including the Chicago Cardinals and Decatur Staleys. Here’s a look at the history of expansion and relocation in the NFL.
1920: American Professional Football Association is founded. Fourteen teams play in the inaugural season, including the Chicago Cardinals and Decatur Staleys.
1921: Green Bay Packers join league play. Staleys move to Chicago.
1922: National Football League is formed out of the APFA. Staleys change name to Bears.
1924: Frankford (Pennsylvania) Yellow Jackets join the NFL.
1925: New York Giants join the NFL.
1930: Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans enter the league.
1932: Spartans move to Detroit and become the Lions. Boston Braves also are added to the league.
1933: Pittsburgh Pirates sign up with the NFL. Yellow Jackets move to Philadelphia and become the Eagles. Braves change their name to Redskins.
1937: Cleveland Rams are added to the NFL, and Redskins move to Washington.
1940: Pittsburgh Pirates become the Steelers.
1946: Cleveland Rams move to Los Angeles.
1950: San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns join the NFL.
1952: Indianapolis Colts disband.
1953: Baltimore Colts are added to the league.
1960: Dallas Cowboys join the NFL as an expansion team. Chicago Cardinals move to St. Louis.
1961: Minnesota Vikings get added to the league as an expansion team.
1966: Another expansion team joins in the Atlanta Falcons.
1967: New Orleans Saints become the league’s latest expansion team.
1970: AFL-NFL merger occurs, with Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots, New York Jets, Houston Oilers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers joining the league.
1971: Patriots move to Foxboro, Massachusetts, and become the New England Patriots.
1976: Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks join as expansion teams.
1982: Raiders move to Los Angeles.
1984: Colts move in the middle of the night to Indianapolis.
1988: Cardinals move to the Phoenix area.
1994: Cardinals change name to Arizona Cardinals.
1995: Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars are added to the league in another round of expansion. Raiders move back to Oakland. Rams move to St. Louis.
1996: Cleveland Browns move to Baltimore and become the Ravens.
1997: Oilers move to Memphis, Tennessee, and become the Titans.
1998: Titans move to Nashville, Tennessee.
1999: League awards a team to Cleveland, and the Browns are born again.
2002: In the league’s latest round of expansion, Houston Texans join.
2016: Rams move to Los Angeles.
2017: Chargers announce intention to join Rams in Los Angeles.
2017: NFL owners vote in favor of Raiders moving to Las Vegas.