CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Since the moment Jimmy and Dee Haslam were introduced as the new owners of the Browns in late July 2012, one name has been tied to them: Peyton Manning.
Over the course of the last 2 months the potential marriage between Manning and the Haslams has picked up significant steam with rumors of Manning’s potential arrival hitting social media earlier this month.
CBS Sports NFL insider Jason LaCanfora wrote about the Haslams’ recruitment of Manning to help them run the Browns, who have fallen on hard times and surpassed the Lions for the worst 47-game stretch in league history with their 19-7 loss to Jacksonville Sunday.
LaCanfora reports what league sources have told 92.3 The Fan in recent days, a potential ownership stake in the team could be used as part of their pitch to get Manning to come to Cleveland to help turn around the floundering franchise.
Forbes Magazine values the Browns at $1.95 billion – with a B – which is only good enough to be ranked No. 29 out of 32 NFL franchises. The Haslams paid around $1 billion for the team, which has won just 19 games since they officially closed on the sale on Oct. 25, 2012.
Using Forbes’ figures, a 1 percent share of the franchise could potentially be worth $19.5 million, so depending on the percentage, an ownership stake would be extremely lucrative to Manning, who earned approximately $400 million from salary and endorsements according to Forbes.
For the sake of conversation – and this is pure speculation – let’s assume the Haslams offer Manning 5 percent of the team – that’s $97.5 million alone.
Mike Holmgren was paid $40 million over 5 years to serve as team president in Dec. 2009, but his tenure was cut short when the Browns were sold to the Haslams in 2012.
Assuming Manning’s salary would be on par with what Holmgren was paid, combined with the Forbes valuation of the franchise and calculating a possible ownership share, luring Manning to Cleveland could easily top a $100 million investment.
Now that would be a difficult offer for Manning to refuse.