The WFAN legend was yakking with the ex-Jets general manager on Wednesday’s edition of his BetRivers podcast when Mr. T’s old boss came up. Is Woody Johnson truly invested in the Jets? Because the big guy has reason to wonder.
“I’ve been hearing rumblings that the franchise could be sold in the next couple of years, from people who should know things,” Francesa said.
Tannenbaum said he believes the apparent rumors are “probably nonsense.” He added he felt the Johnson family was always all-in during his time in the front office. And Francesa said he does not understand why anyone would sell an NFL team given how profitable a business it is. But then again, it’s not like the Johnsons — chiefly Woody and his brother, Christopher — need the money. And this is not the first time there has been a whiff of Jets sale talk.
Woody has been back at the helm for close to two years now after his adventure as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom (Chris ran the show from 2017-20 in his absence). He did not sound like a man who intended to sell earlier this year at the NFL owners meeting. But he also made a run at the Premier League’s Chelsea when Roman Abramovich was forced to sell.
Could Woody have bought another multi-billion dollar team while owning the Jets? Sure. He’s worth roughly $6 billion himself, according to the various outlets that assess how rich the super rich are. But you have to wonder if he could have tried to offload the Jets had he won the bidding for Chelsea.
Also worth noting: The Jets will have windows to break their MetLife Stadium lease after the 2025 and 2030 seasons. If Johnson sells, it is highly doubtful a new owner will be keen to keep playing in a concrete air conditioner that is far removed from a large portion of the fanbase. If the sales process starts relatively soon, the new owner would have a fighting chance to get a new stadium project up and running for a 2031 move-in. Or Johnson could keep the team and build his own stadium. Who knows.
“It’s hard to read them, if they’re really into it,” Francesa said. “I think that’s what the fans wonder … do they really care? Some owners, it’s easy to tell when they care. Maybe they care too much. It’s hard to tell with the Jets.”
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