The Carolina Panthers are going on the market following an SI report regarding owner Jerry Richardson’s abhorrent behavior, and an old friend could be in the mix. ESPN’s Jim Trotter is reporting former San Francisco 49ers owner and Hall of Famer Eddie DeBartolo is exploring the idea of putting together a group to purchase the Panthers.
I’m told Eddie DeBartolo definitely is exploring the possibility of putting together a group to purchase the Panthers. He will have competition if he goes forward. https://t.co/7Lg3ex1cBK— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) December 19, 2017
There is a lot to be done before the Panthers are formally sold, but we should know how this goes down fairly quickly. DeBartolo, who spends a lot of his time in Tampa, told Bucs/NFL reporter Rick Stroud, "I am going to respect Jerry Richardson’s wish to not discuss the sale of the Carolina Panthers until after their season is over."
This would certainly make things a whole lot more interesting in the NFL. 49ers fans wish DeBartolo would have bought the team back from his sister, but that was never going to happen. He has talked in the past about wanting to get back in the NFL, and Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was welcome back into ownership if an opportunity came along.
Although anybody is welcome to express interest in purchasing the team, Jerry Richardson and the NFL are likely to keep this limited to a select few people they are prepared to approve. Diddy might want to buy the team, but I don’t see him ending up in any ownership group. If DeBartolo can put together a group, their biggest competition would be somebody with local roots in Charlotte. There is no word yet on other interested parties.