Philadelphia sports reporter Howard Eskin took to Twitter this afternoon claiming that former Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner was assembling a group in order to purchase the Cleveland Browns. The Browns organization issued a statement later this afternoon claiming that the franchise is not for sale. Eskin went on to speculate that the Buffalo Bills and the St. Louis Rams might also be for sale.
The Eagles replaced Banner and handed more duties over to head coach Andy Reid. Rumors began swirling shorting after the announcement from the Eagles organization that Banner would be stepping down. Banner stated he was stepping down as he wanted to take on a new challenge. Some rumors surrounding Banner suggest that he might be joining an investment group in order to purchase the New York Yankees.
Banner has been a successful president during his time with the Eagles, creating a successful franchise. There is no doubt that he would perhaps relish the role to move into an ownership role with a team in the NFL, but I find it unlikely that it will be with the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland is currently owned by the Lerner family and has been since 1999 when the league placed an expansion franchise back in Cleveland.
Of the three teams which Eskin named in his Tweet, the Buffalo Bills could become available on the market in the near future, but not as long as Ralph Wilson is alive and in control of the team. The St. Louis Rams have been under the ownership of Stan Kronke for just two seasons. The Rams are embroiled in stadium negotiations and are a possible candidate for relocation.Kronke owns various teams in a numerous variety of sports and if he were interested in selling the Rams after just two seasons, it would make more business sense to move the team to Los Angeles, a move which would increase the teams value by several hundreds of millions of dollars, before selling the team.