Apr 03

Panthers Bids Are Said to Pass $2.5 Billion

The price of the Carolina Panthers has reached $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with bids for the NFL team, which would set a record for a U.S. professional sports franchise.

The rapid escalation in bidding has prompted Michael Rubin, the billionaire executive chairman of sports-apparel company Fanatics, to drop out of the process, said the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.

Not only are the Bears coordinated on defense by Vic Fangio (who was in San Francisco when the 49ers drafted Reid in the first round), but Chicago could use his hybrid skill set, especially if he’s still interested in playing more linebacker. Reid transitioned to a roving linebacker role for the 49ers in 2017, and he’d give the Bears an athletic option at the position in certain sub-packages, plus extra depth at safety.

Reid produced a Pro Bowl season (and four interceptions) under Fangio as a rookie in 2013.

Ayers joined the Bucs in 2016 and made 20 starts over his two seasons in Tampa. He had 60 tackles, 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in those outings.

In addition to Curry, the Bucs have signed Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein on the defensive line this month.Report: Seahawks in talks with several teams about Earl Thomas

The Seahawks are having discussions with several teams about safety Earl Thomas, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.

La Canfora adds Seattle is seeking a first-rounder and a third-rounder and may get more, which seems unlikely unless the team already has an agreement with Thomas on a contract extension.

Thomas has one year left on a four-year, $40 million extension he signed after the 2013 season that made him the league’s highest-paid safety. He is scheduled to make $8.5 million in 2018.

Thomas already has threatened to holdout if he doesn’t get a new deal.jets_098

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