Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will put the team up for sale at the end of the season due to multiple incidents of workplace misconduct, meaning the team will have a new owner for the first time since Richardson founded the team in the early 1990’s. With the franchise valued at over $2 billion, who could possibly buy the team? Here are seven candidates:
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Did you know Diddy was a Panthers fan? That picture was taken in 2003 during Carolina’s first Super Bowl run, and now Diddy, who has a net worth of roughly $820 million, has expressed interest in forming an ownership group to buy the team. The interest is definitely there, and the NFL would certainly love to have a minority owner. Will he be able to find enough people who want minority stakes?
Someone who has already expressed interest in joining Diddy’s ownership group is Stephen Curry, who is a Charlotte native. Of course, the problem with Curry will be how much money he can contribute. He has made less than $100 million in salary from his playing career, and though he just signed a huge supermax deal worth over $200 million, he doesn’t have that money now.
Jordan already owns the Charlotte Hornets, so why not own the other major professional sports team in Charlotte. Jordan doesn’t have a billion dollars available to buy the team, but he’s still making plenty of money from Jordan Brand. He would need find some minority owners as well – or he could join Diddy’s group.
Cuban has expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise in the past, even though the league hasn’t been thrilled with the prospects of that in the past. Still, we know Cuban has interest and has the money.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Who would be down for this real-life episode of Ballers? Johnson is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood and has millions to spend – but nowhere near enough to buy a majority stake in a team. However, as we saw in Ballers, he could gather some big money investors who would want him to be the face of the team.
Speaking of majority investors wanting to have a minority owner be the face of a team…how about a former president? Obama is a huge sports fan and makes a lot of sense for a league looking to improve their image. However, does he even have the interest or enough money to even peak the interest of a majority stakeholder?
The Packers are re-signing quarterback Joe Callahanto the 53-player roster. That could signal the end of Aaron Rodgers‘ season. At a minimum, it means the Packers are at least considering the possibility of shutting down their star quarterback. Green Bay faces elimination from the playoff race tonight as a Falcons’ victory over Tampa Bay assures the Packers are out of the postseason. Without a postseason berth in play, it seems prudent for the Packers to keep Rodgers out of harm’s way. Rodgers’ broken right collarbone sidelined him almost two months. The team’s medical staff cleared him a week ago to return to game action, and Rodgers wouldn’t address whether he lobbied team physician Dr. Pat McKenzie for clearance. The Packers waived Callahan on Saturday to make room for Rodgers’ return. Rodgers completed 26 of 45 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in the 31-24 loss to the Panthers.
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis denied a report he is planning on leaving the organization after the 2017 season to “pursue opportunities elsewhere.” Lewis made the comments after the Bengals’ 34-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, saying he’s made no decisions on his future. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported Lewis was intending to step down. “Not only is Lewis’ contract up, but so are those of most, if not all, of the Bengals’ assistant coaches. The Bengals have declined to give contract extensions to their assistant coaches, and some are unhappy with the way they have been treated financially, sources said. “Amid the uncertainty and potential change, the Bengals are likely to undergo a major overhaul to their coaching staff. Some assistants could wind up staying, but many are expected to leave along with Lewis.” With Lewis’ contract up after the season, his coaching staff reportedly unhappy with the organization and the 5-9 Bengals struggling, the writing is on the wall. He was also the most successful coach in Bengals history by a wide margin, at least from a statistical perspective. Among current NFL coaches, only Bill Belichick, who started with the New England Patriots in 2000, has had a longer tenure with one team.