Report: David Tepper to buy Carolina Panthers

David Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund manager and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, will formally purchase the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Here’s the breakdown.

Why are the Panthers on the market?

Jerry Richardson, the team’s founding owner, announced plans to sell the team in December, on the same day explosive allegations of workplace misconduct broke. The NFL has indicated that it is investigating the incidents, but there has been little movement on that front.

Who is David Tepper?

Tepper, who has a net worth of $11 billion per Forbes, was the wealthiest of a handful of bidders interested in the team. Tepper also had the inside track based on the fact that he’s already been vetted by the NFL and its owners — Tepper is a minority owner of the Steelers. Tepper also would not be bringing partners to the table, and his (relatively) simple financial statements are the kinds of evidence that please NFL owners; if you say you’re rich, it very much helps if you can easily prove that you’re tangibly rich, not paper rich.

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NFL owners who became billionaires

Dan Snyder: Washington Redskins

$1.1 billion(Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Denise DeBartolo York: San Francisco 49ers

$1.1 billion

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Jeffrey Lurie: Philadelphia Eagles

$1.1 billion

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Alex Spanos: San Diego Chargers

$1.1 billion

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William Clay Ford Sr.: Detroit Lions

$1.1 billion

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bud Adams: Tennessee Titans

$1.2 billion

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Tom Benson: New Orleans Saints

$1.2 billion

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Arthur Blank: Atlanta Falcons

$1.5 billion

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Jim Irsay: Indianapolis Colts

$1.5 billion

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Steve Bisciotti: Baltimore Ravens

$1.6 billion

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Robert McNair: Houston Texans

$1.8 billion

(Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Robert Kraft: New England Patriots

$2.3 billion

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Shahid Khan: Jacksonville Jaguars

$2.5 billion

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys

$2.7 billion

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Malcolm Glazer: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

$3.6 billion

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)

Stan Kroenke: Los Angeles Rams

$4 billion

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Stephen Ross: Miami Dolphins

$4.4 billion

(Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Paul Allen: Seattle Seahawks

$15 billion

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)


How much will the Panthers fetch?

Reports are indicating that the Panthers will sell for $2.1 to $2.2 billion. It’s a healthy appreciation for Richardson, who bought the team for $206 million in 1993. It’s also a sharp uptick from the last franchise to change hands outside of a family; Kim and Terry Pegula bought the Buffalo Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion.

And even that $2-plus billion could turn out to be a bargain, given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court just legalized sports gambling. The NFL is the likeliest beneficiary of increased gambling, and Mark Cuban offered the noteworthy, if perhaps hyperbolic, quote that every franchise’s value instantly doubled after the court’s ruling.

When will the sale be finalized?

Any sale requires the assent of a three-quarters majority of owners. The NFL’s owners are slated to meet next week in Atlanta, and it’s likely that Tepper will sail through confirmation with no trouble.

What will happen to the team?

Fears of the Panthers relocating have been allayed. As for the operations of the team, Adam Schefter reports that Tepper would run the Panthers like his old team:


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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