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NFL Rumors: Donald Trump to buy Carolina Panthers?

With the Carolina Panthers now for sale, will Donald Trump show interest in buying an NFL team?
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NYPD spent more than $4 million on security measures for President Trump's August New York City visit. Photo: Getty Images

Jerry Richardson was the latest addition to the list of important people accused to sexual misconduct last week, and the Carolina Panthers' owner announced he would be selling his franchise as a result.

Ignoring the fact that Richardson — for his misdeeds — will be rewarded with a potentially multi-billion dollar sale of an NFL franchise, there is always a lot of interest and speculation when a major sports franchise becomes available. Team ownership is an exclusive group, and many will be rumored to have connections to the sale. North Carolina's own Michael Jordan is worth $1.4 billion and might have interest (he reportedly is a part owner of the recently sold Miami Marlins) and Dallas Mavericks's owner Mark Cuban is also a name many have heard, though he has said he isn't interested in the NFL anymore since it is a sinking ship.

But what about President Donald Trump? Before he was elected president he was a real estate mogul obsessed with the presige that comes with owning an NFL franchise. Could this be his chance?

More misconduct

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The American public has seen more than two dozen accusations against Trump thus far, as well as the incriminating "Access Hollywood" tape that overheard him boasting about grabbing women. This, first and foremost, could likely eliminate him from consideration among the always optically-conscious NFL.

Presidential problems?

There have been complications regarding Trump and his business ownership, particularly with regard to foreign relations and his international brand. Officially, Trump is no longer in charge of his business holdings — his sons are. But they could still use his fortune to make a bid for the Panthers. And after his presidency ends, he could in theory become the majority stakeholder if he resumes as the CEO of his company.

We've seen this before

Three years ago Trump nearly bought the Buffalo Bills.

“I bid a billion dollars, all cash on the table," he told Sports Illustrated. "[Current owner Terry Pegula] bought it for a billion-two, I believe, although they say it was a billion-four. I think he got it for a billion‑two.”

Trump claims the asking price was too high, but you never know. The Panthers are much better than the Bills and have a bright future with Cam Newton at the helm. Back in the 1980s, Trump owned the New York generals a team in the upstart USFL that set out to challenge the NFL but eventually failed. 

Trump vs. the NFL

The final factor worth considering is Trump's recent run-in's with newly extended commissioner Roger Goodell. Amid the wave of socially-minded player protesting earlier this season, Trump stirred the pot to encourage nearly every player and owner to stand arms locked to rally against the overstepping president.

“Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players,” the president tweeted. “The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss!”

The tweet-first, think-second behavior Trump relies on may work in the White House but it wouldn't be premitted in Goodell's NFL which is run by tightly managed PR team.