Publicist: Bon Jovi not ‘engaging in any discussions’ to buy Bills

BONJon Bon Jovi might still be livin’ on a Hail Mary. But his publicist on Monday tried to tackle speculation that the rocker intends to cross the goal line any time soon in his pursuit of NFL ownership.

Specifically, with the Buffalo Bills.

On Sunday reports broke that Bon Jovi, 51, is in cahoots with executives of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) to assemble a team to buy the Bills after 95-year-old owner Ralph Wilson dies.

Bon Jovi’s publicist Ken Sunshine told John Wawrow, Associated Press correspondent in Buffalo, that his client is not currently pursuing the Bills.

“The Bills are not for sale, and (Bon Jovi) has too much respect for Mr. Wilson to engage in any discussions of buying the team,” Sunshine told Wawrow.

Bon Jovi has “a day job that’s doing very well,” Sunshine said in regard to the rockband that bears his client’s surname.

“It’s preposterous to say he’s had any discussions with the Bills and Erie County.”

When I reached Sunshine on Monday afternoon, he said he was quoted accurately by Wawrow and would not expand on those comments.

The comments probably are meant as injection of anti-inflammatory to all the public speculation about future Bills ownership, which the NFL no doubt frowns on.

And nobody wants to get on the NFL’s bad side before the For Sale sign goes up, especially under these circumstances.

CBS Sports broke the news Sunday that Bon Jovi is “consumed” with becoming an NFL owner, and that he “is among the parties positioning to purchase the Buffalo Bills when the team comes up for sale.”

As reported here Sunday night, the obstacles to any group buying the Bills and relocating the franchise to Toronto are immense.

The team would cost about $1 billion US, and a new stadium large enough to meet NFL standards (which the Rogers Centre doesn’t) would cost probably another $1 billion.

An NFL-calibre headquarters and training complex would increase the Bills bill by tens of millions more.

And that’s without considering the team’s new 10-year lease deal with Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Last December, Erie County and the state of New York agreed to finance $130 million in stadium upgrades, with the caveat that the club cannot break the lease before the deal’s expiry after the 2022 season without paying a $400-million penalty.

The asterisk to that is a brief, one-time window following Year 7 of the lease — that is, after the 2019 season — that reduces the lease-break penalty to only $29 million.

 

BROWNER SUSPENDED FOR A YEAR: Injured Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, a former CFLer, denied Monday night a report by NFL Network’s Michael Silver that he faces an eight-game suspension for his second violation in as many years for use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Silver indeed was initially wrong. It’s actually far worse than that.

The NFL is suspending Browner for an entire year for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, not its PED policy.

Browner, already sidelined with a groin injury, missed the final four games last year for violating the league’s PED protocol.

Worst of all for Browner, a former Calgary Stampeder, is that Silver reports that this second suspension “should end Browner’s Seahawks career,” even though he and Richard Sherman comprise arguably the league’s top cornerback duo.

The team is done with Browner, Silver reports.

Yet worse for the Seahawks secondary, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that cornerback Walter Thurmond faces a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Since Pete Carroll took over as Seahawks head coach in 2010, seven players reportedly have been suspended for drug use of some kind. Sherman himself successfully appealed a four-game suspension last year for the purported use of the PED Adderall.

The Seahawks have the best record in the NFL, at 10-1.

 

CHIEFS LOSE PASS-RUSH STAR(S)?: Mixed news for the Chiefs. While it’s still possible that neither of their star outside pass rushers might be able to play Sunday against the Broncos, Tamba Hali did not suffer a high ankle sprain, as feared. It’s only a slight ankle sprain. But Justin Houston has a dislocated elbow. Not good. Hali and Houston combined for 20 sacks before cooling off this month.

 

EXTRA POINTS: Aaron Rodgers almost certainly will not be able to quarterback the Packers on Thursday in Detroit, in the first game of the NFL’s annual tripleheader on U.S. Thanksgiving. Matt Flynn probably will get the start … Jay Cutler similarly will have to wait at least another week before returning to action for the Chicago Bears (high ankle sprain) … Jets head coach Rex Ryan stood by his immensely struggling rookie QB Geno Smith, saying he’ll start on Sunday against Miami despite failing to complete as many as 10 passes in three consecutive games … The NFL suspended Titans safety Michael Griffin for one week for repeated hits to the head, the latest against Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera.

 

One thought on “Publicist: Bon Jovi not ‘engaging in any discussions’ to buy Bills

  1. ALthepal

    Toronto has become an annoying little Knat for the NFL. always buzzing around its head getting swatted at. sorry TO, NFL’s just not that into you.

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