For years, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady competed out in the open, for all to see. There’s a more subtle competition currently playing out between the two men, behind the scenes. Both seem to be determined to make enough money to eventually buy an NFL team.
Neither has ever publicly declared an intention to do so. Before the transaction could ever be made, they’d need to stockpile enough cash to write a check for 30 percent of the purchase price, with the other 70 percent coming from other sources — limited partners, debt, etc.
Michael McCarthy and A.J. Perez of FrontOfficeSports.com recently took a look at whether Manning will be able to parlay his burgeoning Omaha Productions enterprise into something that could generate the kind of cash that would allow Peyton to purchase a team. (Previously, FrontOfficeSports.com gave Brady similar treatment.) They report, not surprisingly, that Peyton would be quickly approved as an owner, if he ever acquires the cash to make the purchase. The question is whether — and when — Peyton will amass the kind of personal wealth that lets him plunk down well over $1 billion.
The Broncos, for example, sold for $4.65 billion. Under that price point, Peyton would have to come up with $1.4 billion of his own money.
The challenge for Peyton (and for Brady, if he aspires to own a team) is that, as they keep making more money, the price for admission keeps going up. The Panthers went for $2.2 billion in 2018. The Broncos went for $4.65 billion in 2022. The Seahawks could be up for sale as soon as 2024. The final price will be at least $5 billion.
Put simply, Peyton will need to make a lot money faster than the franchise values are increasing. Soon, the default number will be in the range of $8 billion to $10 billion. That would mean $2.4 billion to $3 billion from Peyton in after-tax cold, hard cash.
So the clock is ticking. The numbers are increasing, exponentially. Can Peyton (or Brady) make a big enough score to end up with enough cash to buy a team? For Peyton, it could require a much bigger play than Omaha Productions. For Brady, it may require something which a much greater margin than underwear, autographs, and crypto.