Expected Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper brings an immediate sense of control to the franchise…
When Carolina Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced his intent to sell the franchise he brought to the NFL, it came as a bit of a surprise. Yes, the allegations had been levied against Richardson regarding workplace misconduct and an NFL investigation launched, but parting with his organization was a decision that likely didn’t come easy.
Once announced, speculation on potential new owners and minority partners ranged from Sean Combs, otherwise known as Diddy, to sports icons Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning. Others joined the bidding for months but eventually it was billionaire investor and hedge fund manager David Tepper who signed on the dotted line to potentially become the second owner in franchise history.
Potentially, because Tepper must first be voted in by his fellow owners – a move that should occur during the upcoming NFL meetings in Atlanta toward the end of the month. This is where Tepper held an advantage over many of his opponents. Currently a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tepper has already been vetted by the NFL and is familiar with many of the inner workings associated with his new position.
After months of speculation and a laundry list of changes both on and off the field, including new coordinators in every facet of the game – offense, defense and special teams. Tepper inherits a franchise in need of a controlling influence and direction.
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Chief Operating Officer Tina Becker has done a nice job of guiding the organization through the offseason and should be rewarded for her efforts. Tepper comes from a Steelers organization with a long history of success and a reputation that precedes itself for continuity.
Richardson and former Steelers owner Dan Rooney were good friends and Tepper’s involvement with their organization since 2009 should take a little of the sting away from selling the franchise.
League rules mean Tepper will have to sell his part of the Steelers but it won’t be long until the two franchises collide on the field. Scheduled to play both a preseason game and Thursday night prime time matchup with the Steelers during the regular season, each in Pittsburgh, both meetings will now be highlighted by the Panthers new ownership.
Since a candidate has been officially named, there are a number of issues in need of immediate attention. Any of these would assist in new owner and fan relations while helping ease the transition into a new era for the Panthers.