Despite expressing interest, Jeff Bezos is apparently bowing out of the running to purchase the Washington Commanders. The founder of Amazon, Bezos is not currently planning to bid on the franchise, according to The Washington Post. This potentially clears the way for a group led by New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Josh Harris to purchase the franchise.
Instead of going for the Commanders, the Washington Post reports that Bezos will possibly wait until the Seattle Seahawks go up for sale. According to a source from the Washington Post, "Bezos knows that Seattle is sitting there."
The Seahawks are not currently for sale, but things are trending that way. The sister of the late Paul Allen, Jody Allen, has been selling off her brother's assets, meaning it is likely a matter of time before the team is up for grabs.
Reports that Bezos was interested in buying a team began earlier this year, when the Post reported that he hired the investment firm of Allen & Company to evaluate a potential bid for the Commanders. Bezos, 59, alluded to possibly purchasing the Commanders during an appearance on CNN this past fall. During the interview, Bezos shared that he played football during his adolescence in Houston. The Oilers, coached by Bum Phillips, were among the NFL's best teams for a period of time during Bezos' teenage years.
While Bezos hasn't and apparently won't, three other billionaire-led groups have placed bids matching current Commanders owner Daniel Snyder's asking price of $6 billion. Along with Harris' group, Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos, who has been trying to purchase a sports franchise, has placed his fully funded bid, according to ESPN. The other bid came from Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.
Harris' group is the front-runner to purchase the Commanders, according to the Post. Included in Harris' ownership group is NBA Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson, who is a current shareholder of the MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, and the MLS' Los Angeles Football Club.
Johnson recently confirmed the bid's submission on NBC's "The Today Show."
"Our bid is in," Johnson said. "We hope that we win. We don't know what's going to happen. ... We'll see what happens with Mr. Snyder making that decision. But we're excited about it."