Denver Broncos: Potentially huge development in ownership situation
A trial to potentially determine the Denver Broncos‘ future as it relates to ownership of the team has been vacated, according to multiple reports. The children of the late Hall of Famer Pat Bowlen were scheduled for a trial in July but the trial is now off according to 9News’ Kevin Vaughan and Mike Klis.
Because there has been no comment from either side as to why this trial has been vacated, it’s impossible to speculate what could be going on here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t read some tea leaves.
The trial being vacated as a joint motion — from both the sides of the Bowlen children filing the motion and the Pat Bowlen Trust, including Denver Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis — could very well mean that not only is a settlement coming, but potentially also the sale of the team.
As Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post pointed out:
Brittany Bowlen has long been rumored to be the heir to the Denver Broncos’ franchise as selected by the Pat Bowlen Trust. If the rest of the Bowlen children do not agree, Joe Ellis has said — as referenced in this article from Mike Klis of 9News in 2020 — that he would have little choice but to sell the team.
Brittany received a promotion from the Denver Broncos earlier this year, being named Senior VP of Strategy. Ultimately, she and the Trust have done their part in the last couple of years to put her in a position to be the next owner of the team, but it’s more complicated than just picking her.
The siblings have to come to a unanimous or close to unanimous agreement on which one is being named owner of the team.
Otherwise, the Denver Broncos could hit the “free agent” market, if you will.
The rumors floating around behind the scenes regarding that possibility are rather lofty ones.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has a history in the legal world and he’s heard that NFL franchises could start selling for upwards of $8-10 billion.
Until anything is reported regarding a settlement, there’s no reason to be hasty. However, many in the know have foreseen this possibility and Denver Broncos fans should brace for the possibility of the team being sold.
That remains unknown at this point, but the team is clearly in good hands from a roster standpoint with general manager George Paton, a coveted executive for the last decade, coming over from the Minnesota Vikings.
How Joe Ellis and company would go about hiring a new owner is a process nobody in Broncos Country is really familiar with. Pat Bowlen purchased the team in the 80s and things were so significantly different at that time.
What Bowlen did was leave a legacy and mark on not only the Denver Broncos but the NFL as a whole that should be respected and honored in that process.
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$8-10 billion is a lot more than the $2.275 billion the Carolina Panthers were recently sold for. If the Denver Broncos go on the market, it might be the beginning of a truly historic shift in the value of NFL franchises.