Ryan Mayer

Since Peyton Manning retired two years ago, there has been plenty of speculation about what his next chapter would be in the game of football. Well, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer, that next step could be getting involved in owning a franchise.

According to the Observer’s Joseph Person, Charleston billionaire Ben Navarro has reached out to Manning about joining his group that is bidding on the Carolina Panthers. Manning is reportedly considering the offer.

This is just the latest report connecting Manning to a potential return to the sport in some capacity. Last season, there were rumors that Manning had been approached by the Cleveland Browns about a front office position, though those rumors were later denied by owner Jimmy Haslam.

More recently, The Sporting News reported that both ESPN and Fox were attempting to lure Manning into the broadcast booth to serve as the color commentator on Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football respectively. However, Manning turned down both jobs in April, saying that he didn’t want to be a critic at this point.

If Manning were to join Navarro’s ownership bid, it seems that he would be joining one of the leading groups in the process as the New York Times reported that Navarro’s bid is thought to be $2.6 billion. There are at least three other potential owners interested in the team, and there’s no timetable at the moment to determine which group’s bid will win.

The Panthers were put up for sale by founding owner Jerry Richardson in December after reports of inappropriate behavior in the work place surfaced. If the reported $2.6 billion figure is correct, it would set a new record for the highest-priced sale of any team, nearly doubling the $1.4 billion that the Pegula family paid for the Bills back in 2014.