DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Broncos released a statement Sunday reiterating owner Pat Bowlen’s intentions to keep the ownership of the team within his family.
The Denver Post on Sunday reported that the NFL has given the Broncos as little as two years to determine who will own the team or be forced to sell.
The NFL wants the Broncos to make “significant progress” in the process of choosing a successor within two years, according to The Post.
“It is Pat’s hope, Mr. Bowlen’s hope that a child will come along, earn the right to sit in his seat and run the team,” Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said at a news conference in July.
Bowlen placed the team in a trust after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s incumbent upon us to have made progress toward getting one of the kids in that direction, significant progress, in those two years,” Broncos co-owner John Bowlen, Pat’s brother, told The Post.
“Owner Pat Bowlen has indicated a strong desire to keep specifics of his estate planning private, and the Denver Broncos intend to honor his wishes,” the Broncos said in Sunday’s statement.
“While Mr. Bowlen’s long-term hope is for one of his children to run the team, any speculation on the transition of his ownership to one of them is premature. No timetable has been set for that process by the organization or the National Football League.
“There are no plans for the sale of the Denver Broncos, and the Pat Bowlen Trust will continue to implement the provisions set forth by Mr. Bowlen to keep the team in the Bowlen family.”
Broncos executive and former quarterback John Elway was reportedly offered a portion of ownership while he was a player in 1998, but Elway said those negotiations never became serious.
Bowlen’s ownership hasn’t been without legal hassles. Former owner Edgar Kaiser sued Bowlen, contending that any sale of the team must first be offered to him. Bowlen violated that, Kaiser alleged, when he offered 20 percent of the team to Elway.
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