Who’s going to be the next owner of the Broncos?
It’s a $4 billion crapshoot, with nothing less than the future success of the team riding on the outcome.
While we can pray Broncos general manager George Paton will pry quarterback Russell Wilson from Seattle after hiring Dan Quinn to coach up the defense, the truth of the matter is it won’t mean diddly if the next owner is as big a knucklehead as Daniel Snyder, who isn’t even smart enough to pick a name for his football team in Washington.
Seismic changes are coming to Broncos headquarters, and it’s not a stretch to suggest 2022 might be the most crucial year in franchise history. Are this team’s glory days gone forever? Or is a renaissance around the corner for this dusty old cowtown’s most-beloved civic treasure?
While it’s more fun to fantasize about the merits of Aaron Rodgers against Wilson as the quarterback or debate Quinn’s graybeard experience versus the fresh enthusiasm of young assistant Nathaniel Hackett, the importance of the next coach ranks a distant second to the abilities of the quarterback who tries to make us forget Teddy Bridgewater. And both moves pale in comparison to the vision of the owner who takes over for the late, great Pat Bowlen.
And here’s the scary part: While Broncos Country craves an owner committed to ending the playoff drought and being No. 1 in everything, the bottom line is that when a team is put up for auction, the only thing that really matters is money.
So I might wish the new ownership group includes a prominent role for Peyton Manning, because he not only brings Hall of Fame credentials and a brilliant football mind to the table, but also universal respect in league circles. On the other hand, maybe you hope there’s a future in ownership for John Elway, the most iconic figure in team history,
But with self-deprecating humor back in the fall, Manning addressed the real-nitty gritty of his future involvement as a savior for the Broncos. With inquiring minds asking if he might buy the team, Manning replied: “I keep looking for that $3 billion in my pocket. I can’t find it. I think it’s hidden in the couch somewhere.”
Manning, who was linked to billionaire Ben Navarro’s failed bid to buy the Carolina Panthers in 2018, is crazy rich by the standards of a retired NFL star. But Manning can’t play in the same league or shop in the same aisle as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose net worth is estimated in excess of $185 billion. The same goes for Elway, who made the monumental blunder of turning down Bowlen’s offer of a potential 20% ownership stake in the team for approximately $36 million way back in 1998.
So while it might be juicy to speculate about the potential involvement of Manning or Elway in the next ownership group of the team, the real game here for either legendary quarterback will be to find a sugar daddy (or mama) who can bankroll a deal to purchase the Broncos.
Broncos team president Joe Ellis is spearheading the sale of the team. He respects the competitive fire and football backgrounds of both Manning and Elway. Furthermore, as a business executive who has spent the vast majority of his professional career since 1983 in employment with the local NFL team, Ellis wants to do right by the loyal fans of Broncos Country in the sale of the team.
But first and foremost, Ellis and the trust overseeing this multibillion-dollar transaction has a fiscal responsibility to Bowlen’s heirs. So there can be no hometown discount to a group that hopes to burnish its bid by including Manning or Elway in an ownership role.
Yes, the NFL will vet the finances and character of anyone who wants to buy the Broncos, and the sale must be approved by 75% of league owners. The main requirement for acceptance into their exclusive club, however, is writing a check that doesn’t bounce.
We might like to believe the Broncos are in the business of winning football games.
But the sale of the Broncos is a money game. After vetting, the team will go to the highest bidder. Public sentiment or football acumen will have little or nothing to do with this deal.
The next coach and next quarterback of the Broncos can only hope the new owner wants to bring championships to Denver as much as Mr. B did.
Source: Read Full Article