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NFL Rumors: 76ers' Josh Harris Was Willing to Pay $5B to Purchase Broncos

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 8, 2022

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Wollman Rink NYC

Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils governor Josh Harris was reportedly willing to pay $5 billion for the NFL's Denver Broncos had he been granted assurance that it would have been the winning bid.

According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Harris didn't get that assurance and ultimately didn't bid $5 billion out of fear that the Walton-Penner group would surpass his bid and drive the price up.

Harris reportedly decided against that since he has plans to buy a different NFL franchise in the future and didn't want to inflate the price by bidding too high on the Broncos.

Ultimately, the Walton-Penner family agreed to purchase the Broncos for $4.65 billion on Tuesday, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold, establishing a new record sale price for a North American sports franchise.

The Walton-Penner group, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton; his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner; and her husband, Greg Penner, are set to buy the Broncos from the Bowlen family should the sale get approved.

Approval will take between 60 and 90 days, and it requires 24 "yes" votes from the NFL's other owners. ESPN's Adam Schefter (h/t Legwold) noted that the sale isn't expected to hit any snags.

In the Broncos, the Walton-Penner group is acquiring one of the most successful franchises in NFL history.

The Broncos are 15-time AFC West champions, eight-time Super Bowl finalists and three-time Super Bowl champions, including their most recent title in 2015.

While Denver has missed the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, there is reason for optimism in 2022 and beyond following the acquisition of quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks.

Harris is still in search of his first major championship as governor of the NBA's Sixers, NHL's Devils and English Premier League's Crystal Palace.

Harris purchased the 76ers in 2011. They have become a perennial playoff team over the past five seasons, but they haven't made it out of the second round of the playoffs during that time despite the presence of All-Star center Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, the Devils have just one playoff appearance and no playoff series wins since Harris purchased them in 2013.

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