The sale of the Cleveland Browns by current owner Randy Lerner to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III could be approved in August or September by the beginning of the NFL's regular season, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on Saturday. The Plain Dealer reported that former Eagles President Joe Banner could be part of the group buying the Browns.
Just Friday, Lerner confirmed that he was in talks with Haslam to sell the team his family has owned since 1999, when the Browns started as an expansion franchise after the original franchise moved to Baltimore.
"In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I've been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns. We are currently in negotiations and both sides have agreed to keep that dialogue and its details private," Lerner said in a statement.
"Given that any transaction would require League approval, care has been taken so that this process will not be disruptive to the organization, in particular the football team, as it prepares for the upcoming season. We will share further details or make an announcement if it becomes necessary."