The Carolina Panthers may have an ownership candidate within the week…
Carolina Panthers founder Jerry Richardson announced his decision to sell the franchise in late December amid allegations of workplace misconduct. The only owner fans of the Panthers have known in their existence, anticipation is high regarding who will inherit control over the team.
As the NFL spring meetings approach at the end of May, expectations were to have a solid candidate ready to be voted on for league approval. As the days and weeks continue to pass, it became increasingly evident this would not be the case.
Ownership candidates have come and gone but two front-runners emerged as promising individuals to gain ownership – Ben Navarro of Charleston, South Carolina and David Tepper, a Pittsburgh native and minority owner of the Steelers.
A report from ESPN team insider, David Newton, reveals that Tepper has overtaken Navarro as the leading candidate and was in Charlotte this past week to meet with other team officials.
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"Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner David Tepper, who is now considered the leading candidate to be recommended as the next owner of the Panthers.An announcement could come as early as Monday or Tuesday, a source said.Tepper was in Charlotte on Wednesday to meet with team officials, sources said."
The NFL spring league meeting takes place May 21-23 in Atlanta. If Tepper is announced as the team’s recommendation next week, it would give owners a few days to decide their opinion on approval with a vote to take place at some point over the course of the meetings.
Already owning a minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers, which Tepper would need to relinquish, it is likely he would be approved and is already a well known figure within the NFL community. Richardson’s relationship with former Steelers chairman Dan Rooney and his respect for their organization may have also potentially played into the decision.
If the reports are true, expect a name and official announcement early next week.