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NFL sending not-so-subtle messages to Broncos about ownership

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  • NFL sending not-so-subtle messages to Broncos about ownership

    Is the NFL sending the Broncos not-so-subtle messages about their ownership situation?
    by Sayre Bedinger3 minutes ago

    Pat Bowlen is one of the greatest owners in professional sports history. The Denver Broncos’ Hall of Famer built the team into one of the most respected franchises in all of sports, but since his passing at the age of 75 in June of 2019, the Denver Broncos’ ownership situation has been a sticky topic.

    Currently, the team’s “ownership” is a board of three trustees led by Broncos CEO Joe Ellis. Prior to his passing, Bowlen’s hope was that one of his children would be appointed as the owner of the team, and he put the decision of which child in the hands of the board of trustees.

    Bowlen has seven children, though only a couple of his daughters have been seriously considered as potential heirs to owning the team. In fact, only one of his children is currently employed by the team, and she’s been seen largely as the clear choice of the trustees to take over the team at some point.

    There has been a legal dispute between others of Bowlen’s children and the Broncos’ Trust regarding the validity of the Trust itself, and that dispute was slated to happen in court in September but was pushed to 2021 due to the difficulty of in-person gatherings with COVID-19.

    As a result of the legal battle that is ongoing, the Broncos’ ownership situation is unsettled and there is a better-than-remote possibility that the team will end up being sold instead of going to one of the Bowlen children.

    This possibility was acknowledged last year by Joe Ellis and now it seems that NFL is sending the Broncos some very not-so-subtle messages about not getting this issue resolved.

    The first message that was a not-so-subtle warning to the Denver Broncos to resolve their ownership situation was this report about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell now having the authority to essentially tax teams up to $10 million if they don’t have one person who has final say over all matters involving the team.

    The potential of being fined eight figures for not having a sole owner of the team puts the Broncos in a position where the team will almost be required to be sold sooner rather than later.

    A week after this report surfaced on November 22, the Broncos were made an example of by the NFL for their quarterbacks being caught not wearing masks while eating at socially distanced tables on their day off.

    The NFL was given more than 24 hours to review footage the Broncos had sent to the league office, but didn’t notify the Broncos of their decision until Denver was forced to pull all three of their remaining quarterbacks (Jeff Driskel was already on the COVID/reserve list) from the practice field.

    The league then ruled all three quarterbacks ineligible for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, and refused to reschedule the game because it only does so for games determined to be a health or safety issue.

    Since pulling players from the practice field, in itself, represents the NFL exercising safety and precaution, it would make sense for the league to preserve the competitive integrity of the Broncos and Saints game by waiting for at least one quarterback to clear their protocol, even though Drew Lock alone has been testing negative for over 100 days straight.

    Considering the NFL pushed back the Broncos and Patriots game earlier this season four times with only a couple of positive tests on the Patriots’ roster, this seems like a clear power play from the NFL to take advantage of a team with an unresolved ownership situation that must not have a clear end in sight, at least from their perspective.

    What we saw on Sunday — a practice squad wide receiver as the primary quarterback on an NFL team — was the most egregious consequence for quarterbacks showing mask negligence in a controlled, socially distanced environment.

    The NFL has given out fines for teams or coaches breaking mask protocol. There has been talk of draft picks being taken away for teams for breaking COVID protocol. Still, even for other teams that clearly broke COVID protocol — the Tennessee Titans earlier this season — the league has rescheduled things and moved things around so these teams could get a handle on positive test results.

    In the Broncos’ case, another team’s battle with positive COVID tests cost the team their bye week, and if you’re looking at this from the perspective that Denver is the ant and the NFL is the kid with a magnifying glass, that decision to take away the team’s bye week was yet another sign that the NFL is fed up over the Broncos being run by a board of trustees.

    It should come as no coincidence that as this article is being typed up, this report from Mike Klis surfaced:

    Lawsuit pitting Pat Bowlen's oldest daughters against his trustees rescheduled for July 12, 2021

    Initial trial date of Sept. 1 was pushed back because of COVID-19 and technology concerns by Arapahoe County Judge Scipione who has set aside 5 weeks for the trial.

    July 12, 2021?

    That’s probably too much time at this point unless the Broncos feel they can risk upwards of $10 million in the form of a fine from the NFL on a court hearing eventually leading to the eldest Bowlen daughters relenting and freeing the path for Brittany Bowlen to take over the team.

    Up to this point, there have not even been rumors that anyone is interested in purchasing the Denver Broncos, though if they were to go “on the market” there would certainly be interest.

    Even though these events in recent weeks could be unrelated to the Broncos’ ownership situation, it doesn’t feel that way. It feels as though the Broncos were deliberately made an example of when other teams have done far worse to violate COVID-19 protocol.

    Would the NFL have allowed the Chiefs to play with no quarterback on Sunday? Would Goodell have imposed this on a team with an owner like Robert Kraft? No, in fact, he didn’t.

    To understand Roger Goodell’s point of view on this, you can look back at his statements from January 2020:
    “Unity is something that I think as an organization in the NFL, you have one person who makes a decision on behalf of an ownership group. That’s a vital and principal point in our ownership policy, and that is what Pat understood, he wanted that, and we need to have that in the case of all franchises. So that, at some point in time, will have to develop in the context of the Broncos.”

    Roger Goodell (January 2020)

    Considering the timing of all of this news, it seems clear from the outside looking in that the NFL is applying pressure on Joe Ellis and the board of trustees to get the Broncos sold with no clear ending in sight to the legal dispute between Bowlen’s children.

    source: https://predominantlyorange.com/2020...cos-ownership/

    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  • #2
    So what I’m getting out of all this is, we’re definitely going to be fined

    Comment


    • #3
      Mike Klis@MikeKlis
      FYI since its come up: There can be no transfer of ownership— either to a Bowlen child or sale—while Trust is being challenged in court. Court case must be resolved first. #9sports

      Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

      Comment


      • #4
        I am already irritated at other things going on and now I read the NFL is going to start fining us 10 mil a year because of an ownership trust they allowed to happen with one of their former employees at the head of the trust?

        It is like the NFL is trying to push away Bronco fans...
        Time to build on the win and grow the team from some solid play higher level of play

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm seeing non Broncos fans react and make post on social about what's going on, and people are confused on the NFL doing things like this.
          sigpic
          Adopted Broncos:
          EmmanuelSanders

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by L.M. View Post
            Mike Klis@MikeKlis
            FYI since its come up: There can be no transfer of ownership— either to a Bowlen child or sale—while Trust is being challenged in court. Court case must be resolved first. #9sports
            Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post
            So what I’m getting out of all this is, we’re definitely going to be fined
            Originally posted by Hadez View Post
            I am already irritated at other things going on and now I read the NFL is going to start fining us 10 mil a year because of an ownership trust they allowed to happen with one of their former employees at the head of the trust?

            It is like the NFL is trying to push away Bronco fans...
            I don't see how the Broncos can be fined for not having a single owner when legally one cannot be selected while that court battle is pending and unresolved!

            Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

            Comment


            • #7
              It's a family feud and it's sad. Beth Bowlen Wallace talks about how unacceptable the current state of affairs is and how her Dad wouldn't let it happen. She should think about how her Dad would react to the behavior of his rich kids squabbling among themselves dragging the ownership issue through the courts.

              Pat Bowlen wanted one of his kids to become the next controlling owner while all of them shared the financial benefits. Guess getting behind one sibling is too much to ask because of something: greed, animosity, jealousy, hatred, ego? They just weren't up to the task their Dad left to them because they can't wrap their head around one controlling owner.

              Have been through Calvin Kunz and the Phipps Brothers, Edgar Kaiser and Pat Bowlen. Each had accomplishments as far as the franchise is concerned, but in terms of longevity and achievements, Pat was the best. His kids are doing his memory a disservice by acting like a bunch of greedy, spoiled brats; most unbecoming. Hope the next owner is good.
              "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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              • #8
                Originally posted by L.M. View Post





                I don't see how the Broncos can be fined for not having a single owner when legally one cannot be selected while that court battle is pending and unresolved!
                That would be logical but will the nfl act logically in regards to the Broncos? I don’t believe they will

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post

                  That would be logical but will the nfl act logically in regards to the Broncos? I don’t believe they will
                  Of course the NFL won't act logically. Logic isn't usually consistent with greed and corruption. Those have a certain element of consistency or internal coherence, but don't rise to the level of logic, at least not the way Aristotle described it.
                  "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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                  • #10
                    What logical reason do you think Ellis and the trustees think Britteny could run the team better than Beth?
                    I say, because Beth would get rid of Ellis & ; Elway ASAP.. Calling Pat's kids spoiled brats is like the pot calling the kettle black.
                    I think Mr Bowlen is probably more disappointed with the trustees and Elway than he is with his kids. I doubt he thought they'd still be milking their position and money, and dragging the value of the team down 11 years later.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MrMax View Post
                      What logical reason do you think Ellis and the trustees think Britteny could run the team better than Beth?
                      I say, because Beth would get rid of Ellis & ; Elway ASAP.. Calling Pat's kids spoiled brats is like the pot calling the kettle black.
                      I think Mr Bowlen is probably more disappointed with the trustees and Elway than he is with his kids. I doubt he thought they'd still be milking their position and money, and dragging the value of the team down 11 years later.
                      The trust obviously wants Brittany because they believe she will keep them but I don’t think Brittany ultimately would. She just isn’t in the position to play that card because if she does the trust will force a sale to whoever keeps them on. Given what she’s done with the NFL in both her stints, I don’t believe she’s the incompetent puppet Ellis and the trust believes she is.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by beastlyskronk View Post

                        The trust obviously wants Brittany because they believe she will keep them but I don’t think Brittany ultimately would. She just isn’t in the position to play that card because if she does the trust will force a sale to whoever keeps them on. Given what she’s done with the NFL in both her stints, I don’t believe she’s the incompetent puppet Ellis and the trust believes she is.
                        In the event Brittany Bowlen becomes controlling owner (an increasingly remote possibility due to litigation), Joe Ellis would seem to be expendable, because Brittany would fill the role he has occupied. Might be a transition period, but Ellis' role would be fulfilled and keeping him around would be redundant. The other two trustees would leave their positions because the goal of the trust would have been fulfilled.

                        Elway is another matter. Most NFL owners have GMs (unless one is Jerry Jones) and Elway would be a candidate to continue, if he was interested. Pat Bowlen always had a close relationship with his head coaches, and Brittany might follow his example. If she became controlling owner, she would make that call based on what she knows which is a lot because she has been a Broncos executive for a year now and has seen it up close.
                        "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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