Coach Ron Rivera talks to WBTV about sale of the Carolina Panthers

ORLANDO, FL (WBTV) - One of the big stories from the annual NFL owners meeting in Orlando, Florida is the sale of the Carolina Panthers.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters that he expects the deal to be completed by the end of May.

Among those with a vested interest in the sale of the team is Panthers head coach Ron Rivera who is stunned with the latest suggested price tag of $2.5 billion which could be an NFL record.

"This is a pretty phenomenal number, but again it also exemplifies the hard work Mr. Richardson has put in over these last 20 something years," Rivera said.

Team owner Jerry Richardson is not attending the annual meeting.

Published reports say that as many as a half dozen potential buyers have expressed an interest in purchasing the team.

While Rivera admits not having any knowledge regarding the negotiations, he says that his focus is on the day-to-day operations and not the pending sale of the team.

"The biggest thing that I have to do is make sure this doesn't become a distraction for the coaches and the players. We were able to do that last year when everything first hit. I think our football operations are in a good place," Rivera said.

While the Panthers' head coach isn't a part of the conversations with those shopping around for the team, Rivera is among those expecting the transition to happen quickly.

"Things will begin to move a little bit quicker and they do think they could potentially have it [the decision] at the next owners meetings," Rivera told WBTV

Those meetings are scheduled to occur in Atlanta during the third week of May.

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