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Philadelphia 76ers’ co-owner Josh Harris reportedly plans to pursue another NFL team

Matt Johnson
NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris became one of the finalists to purchase the Denver Broncos, joined in a group bid with Magic Johnson to buy the NFL franchise. While Walmart heir Rob Walton ultimately won the bidding war, Harris isn’t giving up on becoming an NFL owner.

The Harris-led group still made one of the largest offers for an American sports franchise ever. In fact, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, it even could have reached $5 billion if the trust overseeing the Broncos’ sale guaranteed him the team.

Ultimately, Walton’s $4.65 billion offer came out on top and NFL owners are expected to approve the sale later this year. It means Harris won’t get to join the exclusive club in 2022, but he also reportedly isn’t giving up on the pursuit.

According to Pro Football Talk, Harris is planning to make a run at a different NFL franchise. While no specifics are given, the billionaire would likely just be targeting the first team that becomes available in the coming years.

A few potential candidates stand out, but each comes with its own complicating factors. No matter which club becomes available, it’s unlikely to happen for at least another year.

What NFL team could Josh Harris buy?

The Washington Commanders would seem like the perfect target for Haris. While the franchise value is down due to organizational issues, it’s located in an outstanding market and would still likely sell for more than the Broncos.

Of course, Daniel Snyder refuses to sell the team as of now. The only way that would change would be if the NFL forced his hand, with a majority vote from his fellow owners pushing him into a forced sale. With Snyder and the Commanders’ organization under investigation by the NFL and the FTC, it’s at least possible.

However, it would only happen if the league found overwhelming evidence he withheld money from teams. Even then, Snyder would fight any ruling made by NFL owners in court and could look to pull others down with him on his way out. The NFL might believe the best move for league interests is keeping Snyder.

Another potential option is the Miami Dolphins. The NFL is also investigating owner Stephen Ross, stemming from allegations made by Brian Flores that Ross offered the former Dolphins’ coach money to lose games in 2019. As with Snyder, the NFL could vote to force a sale but it could create new problems for owners.

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The other possibility is the Seattle Seahawks. Like with the Broncos, a trust is currently the majority controller of the franchise after Paul Allen passed away. There are reports that Allen’s trust requires his assets – including the Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers – to be sold.

Portland’s NBA franchise will be the first to hit the market, likely sold within the next year. If Josh Harris is willing to be patient, it’s possible the Seahawks are put up for sale by 2024. Of course, it might cost him a lot more than $5 billion by that point.