CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Back in March at the NFL owners meeting, hallway conversations repeatedly brought up the name David Tepper as the front runner to buy the Carolina Panthers.
As a minority partner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he's already been vetted by league owners and appears to be a favorite according to one of the prime movers who helped bring the Carolina Panthers to Charlotte.
Max Muhleman help Charlotte land its NBA Hornets and NFL Panthers.
"Jerry [Richardson] has been negotiating through his investment bank which is representing him and has taken one offer out of the four that had been proffered," he said.
Muhleman was in attendance of the owners meetings and super bowls in the 80's and 90's with the Richardson Sports organization in the groups quest to bring an NFL franchise to the Charlotte.
He makes it clear that the final decision is not Richardson's, but rather the team owners.
"Jerry [Richardson] and the bank work closely with the NFL finance committee," Muhleman told WBTV.
All of that comes after series of meetings with Richardson and potential owners under a cloud of secrecy and scrutiny. While the finance committee of league owners must first vet and green light any sale, it doesn't necessarily mean the full body will approve the sale.
"It's not a rubber stamp. It's a vote that has the potential to turn it back for real, for more work," Muhleman said.