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Report: Banner eyeballs the Buffalo Bills

JoeBannerAP AP

During a Thursday appearance on PFT Live, former Eagles president Joe Banner spoke about his decision to leave the post he’d held for years.  Banner said that he has a goal of being part of a group that purchases an NFL team.

The problem is, few if any teams are for sale.  One will be, in time.

The family of 93-year-old Bills owner Ralph Wilson are expected, following his passing, to sell the team.

According to Howard Eskin of NBC 10, that’s one of the teams Banner will target.  Eskin also mentions the Browns and Rams as possibilities.  Eskin says he hears both are for sale; that would frankly be bigger news than Banner’s interest in them.

“It’s really a replication of what I did with [Eagles owner] Jeff [Lurie],” Banner said of his plan for the future.  “I started working with Jeff about a year and a half before we actually walked into the Eagles the first time and we developed a relationship and a shared philosophy and worked together on the process of the acquisition, which we really had to do twice by the way because at one point we were going to buy the Patriots but then that fell through, and then had to go through the process all over again and then ended up here in Philadelphia.

“So that’s the dream that is most prevalent to me and that I intend to kind of focus my time and efforts on and see if I can’t put I together.  It will be a big challenge, nobody in my position has ever actually been able to do that, not sure how many people have even tried, but the depth of that challenge doesn’t scare me off and as I’ve been saying soon this decisions will either prove to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done or one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done.  You know, we’ll see over some time.”

Mentioning no specific teams that would be targeted, Banner said he’s already talking to people with whom he possibly could partner.  He said that, ideally, the franchise purchased would require the kind of internal turnaround over which Lurie and Banner presided in Philly.

Still, the first challenge will be to find a team that is available to be purchased.  The Bills eventually will be.  Others could become available.  Unfortunately, there’s no showroom at which a would-be NFL owner can shop.

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27 Responses to “Report: Banner eyeballs the Buffalo Bills”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jun 7, 2012 5:10 PM

    lol. The “Dream Team” is almost complete!

  2. virusgvr says: Jun 7, 2012 5:15 PM

    “The family of 93-year-old Bills owner Ralph Wilson are expected, following his passing, to sell the team.”

    I know people die everyday and all… but how would you feel people are already talking about what your going to leave behind while your still alive.

    They are already talking about him and this team like Ralph is already dead!!!!

  3. ironhawk says: Jun 7, 2012 5:25 PM

    ““The family of 93-year-old Bills owner Ralph Wilson are expected, following his passing, to sell the team.”

    I know people die everyday and all… but how would you feel people are already talking about what your going to leave behind while your still alive.

    They are already talking about him and this team like Ralph is already dead!!!!”

    I hear what you’re saying, but people on both sides of the situation always need to understand that plans need to be made. Pretending you aren’t going to die, or that your loved one isn’t going to die, doesn’t help anyone.

  4. 12strikes says: Jun 7, 2012 5:25 PM

    Stopped reading at “According to Howard Eskin of NBC 10″.

    I would you rather use a weegie board or tarot cards. At least they are creditable.

  5. billsin20xx says: Jun 7, 2012 5:29 PM

    “He said that, ideally, the franchise purchased would require the kind of internal turnaround over which Lurie and Banner presided in Philly.”

    and what kind of turnaround has Philly had? what have they won to be proud of? lol Oh I forgot, they do have the ‘dream team’.

    Wilson is too smart, odds are his succession is all set with the team. Do you really think he would have his family pay the capital gains on a $25,000 purchase of a franchise selling for hundreds of millions?

  6. profootballwalk says: Jun 7, 2012 5:31 PM

    virusgvr says: Jun 7, 2012 5:15 PM

    “The family of 93-year-old Bills owner Ralph Wilson are expected, following his passing, to sell the team.”

    I know people die everyday and all… but how would you feel people are already talking about what your going to leave behind while your still alive.

    They are already talking about him and this team like Ralph is already dead!!!!
    ———————————————-

    When you’re 93, it comes with the territory.

  7. jeremy2020 says: Jun 7, 2012 5:34 PM

    Wilson has made it very clear that he does not appreciate people making inquiries into the team while he is still alive.

    The fact is that there is very little known about his plans after his demise except old statement that indicated an auction.

    Jim Kelly has said he has a plan in place to purchase the team. I’m going to guess he has more insight into organization than what Banner does a day after getting fired. If he was looking before that, I wonder who’d be interested in a guy that was apparently looking while still on the payroll.

  8. icdogg says: Jun 7, 2012 5:40 PM

    Banner is a foundation builder, not a finisher. He’s trained his replacements both on the football and non-football parts of the organization. He is now superfluous, and has been mostly so for the last couple of years.

  9. nflofficeadmin says: Jun 7, 2012 5:57 PM

    The foundation Banner left behind is flawed.

  10. flbillsfan says: Jun 7, 2012 6:02 PM

    Of course Mr Wilson is going to die because we all do. He could live 10 more years for all we know. He has already outlived the potential buyer from Toronto & hopefully he will outlive Banner & Mike Florio.

  11. Earl Westlake says: Jun 7, 2012 6:15 PM

    Sell, Lerner, sell!!!

  12. dfwbillsfan14221 says: Jun 7, 2012 6:23 PM

    My gramps is 90 and won’t even buy green bananas for fear he won’t live to eat them ripe!
    Banner can always try to join Jim Kelly’s ownership group when the time does come. He has always seemed to do a good job keeping a competitive team and with acquiring talent and being contract and salary cap savvy.

  13. skoobyfl says: Jun 7, 2012 6:49 PM

    These dreams.

  14. dagroovydude116 says: Jun 7, 2012 7:06 PM

    I got REALLY excited when I saw the headline, thinking the Hulk wanted to sign with Buffalo. MAN what a d-line that would be.

  15. keepyerstickontheice says: Jun 7, 2012 7:30 PM

    First of all, nobody knows what Ralph is going to do, and anybody who says otherwise is trying to sell you something.

    Banner needs $2 Billion (Bill-ion, get it?) to buy a football team. If he’s got that kind of swag, how’d he get canned in the first place?

    Pegula’s got that kind of scratch, and so does Gollisano, plus Kelly’s group.

    Renewing the Toronto and St. John Fisher deals for 5 more years isn’t just a trick to lull the unsuspecting fans to sleep while they pack up the trucks for LA.

    Don’t underestimate the fact that Chuck Schumer has Goodell’s ear and has a very keen interest in keeping New York’s only football team right where it is.

  16. chief67 says: Jun 7, 2012 7:38 PM

    What the heck ! The buzzards are circling the old guy and he`s still alive …

  17. billsin20xx says: Jun 7, 2012 8:08 PM

    I repeat, the people that think it will go up for auction or bids after he does die are nuts! Do you really think he is stupid enough to saddle his family with the capital gains tax on a billion dollar sale?

  18. laeaglefan says: Jun 7, 2012 8:11 PM

    “If he’s got that kind of swag, how’d he get canned in the first place?”

    If he’s got that kind of swag, why should he even worry about it. He can spend the rest of his life drinking Mai Tais on the beach somewhere.

  19. oldbyrd says: Jun 7, 2012 8:44 PM

    When you anything from Howard Eskin, the only thing you can be sure off is….he spoke

  20. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jun 7, 2012 9:57 PM

    Trolololololol

  21. tombrookshire says: Jun 7, 2012 11:00 PM

    The way Banner alienates people, in particular agents, players and fans, he will have the same struggles everywhere he goes. He has an offputting personality and his sneering certainly reflects the way he views the fans, as no more than a necessary evil.

  22. jerrysandusky1 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:06 PM

    Mario Williams is the New ALbert Haynesworth

  23. phillyphan72 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:15 PM

    I hope Mr.Wilson lives to be 110..he is one of the last true patriarchs left from the AFL

  24. airplayful says: Jun 7, 2012 11:33 PM

    Banner, keep your hands off my team. And get a new rug.

  25. kgun80 says: Jun 7, 2012 11:48 PM

    @jerrysandusky1
    1st off you should be blocked for your name!! That’s not funny just idiotic!
    Second I hope Mario Williams is a beast so Bills haters like you will shut it!
    —————————————————-
    As long as the buyer doesn’t move the team and builds a competitor!! I don’t care who buys it. I Hope Mr. Wilson lives to be a 150.. And we never have to worry about the Bills leaving Buffalo.

  26. jasonthemcclain says: Jun 8, 2012 7:27 AM

    All the comments about capital gains taxes and such crack me up. Anyone with that much money and assets worth as much as an NFL team is and would be worth would have their assets owned by a trust.

    The trust would decide to auction or sell it. And the trust is governed by the tax laws of the time it was established.

    In other words, given his age, the Bills *could* be sold and the wealth could be managed under a trust that was set up 50 years ago. Trusts are specifically designed to legally avoid taxes.

    While this is all speculation, the other comments are even more fantastical speculation.

  27. zor9999 says: Jun 8, 2012 1:33 PM

    Everybody talks about the capital gains issue but keep in mind that the Bills have NO DEBT. Assuming that a financial institution would loan to the Bills based on their healthy balance sheet, could they pay the capital gains with debt and repay the debt with the team’s profits over a number of years?

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