The Carolina Panthers are up for sale now that owner Jerry Richardson is being investigated after allegations of workplace misconduct. Richardson is not going to start the selling process until “after the very last game is played,” but since the Panthers have not clinched a playoff spot and only have two weeks to play, the bids could start coming in as early as the first week of January. Any person or potential group can submit a bid, negotiate a price and sign a preliminary purchase agreement, according to ESPN. Back in 2009, Richardson says he owns 48 percent of the team, so the other 52 percent is owned by a group of 12 investors. No other owners are obligated to sell, but they could negotiate separately with the new owner if they want.
The NFL will begin its vetting process after the purchase agreement is executed. In some cases, the NFL might broker a deal and deliver a buyer to the franchise. And the new ownership group must be approved by three-fourths of current NFL team owners. It is believed the team will sell for around $2.5 billion. Richardson paid about $206 million back in 1995. Diddy has declared an interest and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current NBA star Stephen Curry have said they want to join the group. Edward DeBartolo Jr.’s name has also surfaced. The Panthers are not bound to the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte past the 2018 season, so they could move. It is reasonable to believe that this will all be over by the time training camps start in July 2018.