Jeff Bezos would have the means and reportedly the interest to purchase the Seattle Seahawks NFL team from the estate of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. (GeekWire File Photos)
This week’s blockbuster trade of Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson could be the first in a series of moves that leads to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owning the team.
That was the hypothesis offered by veteran Seattle sports columnist Art Thiel in a piece this week, blending smart sourcing with informed speculation. Rumors of Bezos’ interest in buying the Seahawks have been around for years, but the team’s deal with the Denver Broncos makes the possibility worth revisiting.
The Seahawks are owned by the trust of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, led by his sister Jody Allen since his death in October 2018. The Paul G. Allen Trust has been engaged in the secretive process of carrying out Paul Allen’s directives, which includes divesting many of his far-flung assets to maximize the value of the estate.
Thiel quotes a source with knowledge of the situation saying that there’s “no doubt” the team will be sold, although the timing is uncertain. That appears to be one of the factors influencing the decision to trade Wilson.
“Because the timing of a proposed sale is not known, it’s better to resolve the QB situation now,” Thiel explains in his column on Post Alley. “If Wilson played both years of his remaining contract and entered free agency, the Seahawks surely would lose him, getting only a third-round compensatory pick for his departure.”
That’s where Jeff Bezos comes in, Thiel writes, pointing out that the Amazon founder could “muster the $4 billion-plus cost from the change under the seat cushions in his Blue Origin rocket ride for the uber-rich.”
MORE FROM ART THIEL
• A few musings about sports journalism as the unwinding begins
• Blockbuster Deal(s): Russell Wilson to Denver, Seahawks Sale Next
What would this mean for Bezos and the league? What kind of NFL owner would Bezos be? And was he really bulking up all this time to be able to coach the defensive ends?
Thiel, our former Seattle Post-Intelligencer colleague and the founding editor of Sportspress Northwest, tackles those questions and others as the guest on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast.
Listen above, or subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.