According to several media reports, Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner David Tepper is expected to sign the deal Tuesday to buy the Carolina Panthers for roughly $2.2 billion, which will set a record for the highest sale price for an NFL team.
Tepper reportedly currently owns 5 percent of the Steelers and thus would have to sell off that interest before completing the Panthers purchase. Additionally, his potential purchase of the Panthers would need to be approved at the NFL owners meetings in Atlanta on May 22.
According to a Tuesday report by Adam Schefter of ESPN, Tepper, a Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh graduate will want the Panthers football side of the business to mirror that of the Steelers.
Panthers owner-to-be David Tepper wants Carolina’s football side of the business to mirror the Steelers. Tepper wants continuity, stability, progressive thinking on player contract extensions, and not setting the market on free agents. He wants the Steeler way in Carolina.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 15, 2018
“Tepper wants continuity, stability, progressive thinking on player contract extensions, and not setting the market on free agents,” Schefter reports.
With this reported declaration by Tepper, it’s sure to have several fans of the Steelers worried that the Panthers will begin pilfering select people from the organization he was once invested in. While that sounds good in theory, I doubt we’ll see any such thing happen for quite a while. Besides, outside of Omar Khan, the Steelers Vice President of Football and Business Administration, who else are fans of the team worried about potentially losing to the Panthers?
Khan has been considered for several other NFL general manager jobs over the recent years and has yet to land one. For all we know, he might be staying in Pittsburgh long-term with hopes of succeeding current general manger Kevin Colbert down the road. Colbert is 61 while Khan is just 41.
Former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex weighed in on Tepper reportedly wanting to mirror the team he once played for.
“Hope he knows that it starts at the top,” Essex tweeted Tuesday morning following Schefter’s report. “If he wants a Steelers like atmosphere, he needs to be as accessible and visible as the Rooneys are. Makes all the difference in the world.”
Assuming Tepper’s purchase of the Panthers is approved later this month, it would then mark the second time in recent years a Steelers minority owner has bought a different NFL team. Jimmy Haslam was the last one as he was a Steelers minority owner prior to him buying the Cleveland Browns for $1 billion in 2012.