Two reports that broke Saturday evening have Jim Kelly and his mystery partner (presumed to be Jeffrey Gundlach) talking with big-time bidders in the sale of the Buffalo Bills.
Tim Graham of The Buffalo News reports that Kelly's group has discussed teaming up with Jon Bon Jovi's Toronto-based consortium at the rocker's behest, while WGRZ's Adam Benigni reported Kelly was in discussions with Tom Golisano.
Kelly and his group met with the Bills' trust this past week, but don't have the finances to compete and are interested in a minority stake with a more cash-flush owner. This would seem to be the next step in that process. Graham speculated on Buffalo Rumblings Live on Monday that this might happen, even going as far as to say Bon Jovi's group would benefit the most from an affiliation with Kelly. (Watch that show here.)
Graham also shared a rough outline of what Kelly is demanding in negotiations, which he noted was a pretty steep hill and why Donald Trump turned down his friend:
Two sources familiar with the sales process told The News the Kellys have made lofty partnership demands: 2 percent equity in the team, lifetime jobs for Jim and Dan, an up-front cash payment for their services and final say on all football decisions.
Jim's wife, Jill, emphatically denied both reports on Twitter:
Quick update on all the Jim ownership rumors. The things that you are being told by @ByTimGraham and the media are NOT ACCURATE!— Jill Kelly (@HJKforever) August 16, 2014
To think that anyone would think for a minute that Jim would ever link up with ownership that would move our BELOVED BILLS is ludicrous— Jill Kelly (@HJKforever) August 16, 2014
Bottom line. We love the Buffalo Bills. We love our community. And we would never do anything to jeopardize either. Truth will win!— Jill Kelly (@HJKforever) August 16, 2014
The timeline isn't known, but if the NFL would like to have a new owner voted on at the October league meetings, they'll need to have it approved in committee in September.