By Rick Sallinger

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– The Denver Broncos may be winning some games on the field, but their future may be decided in court. The lawyers do not wear jerseys, but they are the quarterbacks in a struggle over ownership.

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Darrin Duber-Smith, a senior lecturer in marketing at Metropolitan State University of Denver, says “There has to be a decision who the team is going to be sold to, I think we still have to argue if the Bowlens are going to maintain control of the team.”

He is watching the battle taking place in court now between the late Pat Bowlen’s partnership and the estate of Edgar Kaiser, who sold the Broncos to Bowlen in 1984.

credit: CBS

Duber-Smith feels the Kaiser estate has an uphill battle.

“To think that they still have a say what happens to a team almost 40 years is kind of hard to swallow. We’ll have to let the courts decide.”

Kaiser got a right of first refusal to match any future offer for the Broncos, but he and Bowlen have since passed away. The team could remain with the Bowlen family with Brittney Bowlen at the forefront. But Duber-Smith believes they are likely to sell.

“Would you rather have free Broncos tickets for life or $150 million if you were in line for that?”

Former Broncos quarterbacks and Super Bowl Champions Peyton Manning and John Elway during a ceremony honoring the franchise's three Super Bowl titles on Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver.

Former Broncos quarterbacks and Super Bowl Champions Peyton Manning and John Elway during a ceremony honoring the franchise’s three Super Bowl titles on Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver. (Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Former quarterbacks John Elway and Payton Manning’s names have come up as possible front men for ownership groups that may want to bid on the team.

There have been estimates the team could sell for up to $4 billion. The trial is expected to last about a week, but no decision is expected for months. The Kaiser estate has lost twice before in court on the issue.

Rick Sallinger