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Source: Josh Harris would have paid $5 billion for the Broncos, if he knew that would get the deal done

The Broncos will sell for $4.65 billion. Some in league circles thought it would go for $5 billion.

So why didn’t it go for $5 billion?

Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics, 76ers co-owner Josh Harris made it clear to those involved in the process that his group would pay $5 billion for the team, if they knew that $5 billion would get the deal done. However, Harris was not given that assurance.

His concern was that the Walton-Penner group would trump the bid, and would continue to do so until it secured the team. That’s one of the basic realities of an auction, whether it’s for an NFL franchise or JFK’s golf clubs.

So why didn’t Harris go to $5 billion and force Walton-Penner to go higher? Harris, we’re told, intends to pursue another NFL franchise. Thus, there was no reason to drive up the price of the Broncos, when that becomes the precedent for the next transaction.

The bottom line is that Harris is ready to pay $5 billion to buy an NFL franchise. He didn’t officially offer $5 billion for the Broncos because they couldn’t guaranteed it would have gotten him the team. If another team wants to sell to Harris for $5 billion, now’s the time to give him a call.