The Carolina Panthers have been dealing with a few big issues this offseason after their quick exit from the playoffs. They had to replace their defensive coordinator Steve Wilks after he was tapped to be head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. They extended the contract of head coach Ron Rivera. They had to lock in their new general manager, going with their previous GM Marty Hurney after he was cleared of misconduct claims by his ex-wife. They also have contract issues to figure out with offensive lineman Andrew Norwell and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and they really need to add some depth at wide receiver.
But the biggest thing they need to do is find a new owner. During the season, accusations of inappropriate behavior against owner and founder Jerry Richardson surfaced and the former player turned owner announced he would sell the team at seasons end. That process is just beginning with experts Jourdan Rodrigue and Katherine Peralta of the Charlotte Observer estimating the franchise to be worth between $2.3 and $2.8 million dollars. That ranks it 21st among 32 NFL teams according to Forbes Magazine. Richardson bought the club for $206 million in 1993.
Reports say that David Tepper is leading the pack to buy the team. The hedge fund manager and philanthropist has a estimated net-worth of $11 billion. Tepper is already a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, something he would have to give up to buy the Panthers.
The way the NFL works is once an agreement to sell the team is made, 24 of the 32 NFL owners must approved the sale for it to be finalized.