When the early, non-binding bid process for the next Buffalo Bills owner closed on Tuesday, folks were immediately interested in how much each bid was worth in addition to who was doing the bidding. Reports had Terry Pegula and Jon Bon Jovi's Toronto group well ahead of Donald Trump. Those reports aren't being disputed, but another aspect is.
In a series of tweets citing two sources, Tim Graham of The Buffalo News says that the reported $1.3 billion offer from Pegula, the $1.2 billion bid from the Toronto group, and the $1 billion bid from Trump were incorrect figures. He specifically mentioned the Toronto group's number as being far too high.
Two sources deeply plugged into the Bills sale process have told me every bid number that has been reported so far is wrong.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 31, 2014
Both sources tell me reported $1.2 billion bid from Toronto group is quite higher than reality.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 31, 2014
Let's tap the brakes and remember these were non-binding bids Tuesday anyway. Best offers still to come. No player has shown its hand yet.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 31, 2014
Graham also noted that since the bids were to be kept confidential, there shouldn't be anyone reporting the bid numbers right now - which is why he didn't correct with a solid number.
LRT We aren't supposed to know the numbers. That's why you should be suspicious of anybody who reports a number. @Joe_Tauriello— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 31, 2014
What I know: It wasn't $1.3 billion. What I think: It probably was notably lower. RT @Coreyb3p Tim what are they saying about Pegulas bid?— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 31, 2014
The likeliest reason people are reporting numbers at this time is to scare off other groups or display power. The largest purchase price for a team in NFL history is $1.1 billion, and even in a unique bidding process, starting your bid above that would seem to be a showing your hand too early, to extend Graham's metaphor.