Whether it's simply a ploy to smoke out a higher offer from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor or the makings of a legitimate offer from another party, this much is certain: Arizona entrepreneur Reggie Fowler did meet with Vikings owner Red McCombs' staff, he did review the team's financial books and he is deciding whether to make a formal offer for the team.
The only known offer since McCombs put the team up for sale three years ago is $400 million from Taylor. McCombs is asking for about $600 million. Forbes magazine has valued the team at $524 million.
Fowler, 45, is an intensely private businessman. In fact, he's so private that Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill and Jerry Colangelo, who runs the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks, had never heard of him despite living in the same community.
Fowler's company, Spiral Inc., had an estimated $314 million in sales last year, according to Black Enterprise Magazine. Fowler, who is black, would be the first minority owner in the NFL.
Taylor said Fowler's involvement won't change his offer. However, he did say he hoped McCombs would allow him the opportunity to make a counteroffer.
McCombs bought the team for $246 million in 1998. He has been asking for a new stadium for six years, and is skeptical about the chances of the Vikings getting one as long as he owns the team.
Some believe McCombs won't sell the team once the regular season starts because he'll become too caught up in the excitement of a team many believe will contend for the Super Bowl this season.
McCombs downplayed Fowler's interest last week.
"What's happened so far is not unusual," McCombs said. "We've had numerous requests to look at our (books).
"We may never hear from those people again. They requested a package. They got the package. You never know. I don't put any stock in that at all."
Fowler's Interest Still Guarded
Viking Update Top Stories
Spielman: Bradford in prime of his careerWith the benefit of hindsight, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he would do the Sam Bradford trade again in a millisecond.
Viking Update5:15 PM
Spielman: Peterson ‘will always be a Viking’While it appears the Minnesota Vikings have made a decision on Adrian Peterson’s future – or lack of it – with the team, they aren’t ready to announce it.
Viking Update2:46 PM
Bridgewater not doing QB activities yetWhile the Minnesota Vikings don’t have any timeline on Teddy Bridgewater’s return to football, he continues to rehab.
Viking Update12:09 PM
Defensive tackles: All about FloydThe Minnesota Vikings currently have little interest in free agent defensive tackles, but that could all change if they don't want to pay Sharrif Floyd's fifth-year contract option…
Viking Update5:01 AM