Although Jim Kelly recently discussed the possibility of a partnership with Jon Bon Jovi‘s Toronto-based group in an attempt to purchase the Bills, the Hall of Fame quarterback has decided not to team with the group due to lingering concerns over whether they’d try to move the franchise, reports Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. It was Graham who first reported over the weekend that the two groups had discussed the idea of partnering up.
“I can confirm that Jim Kelly met with Jon Bon Jovi, but Kelly and Jeffrey Gundlach will not be pursuing a relationship with the Toronto group,” a source told Graham in an email. “Kelly and Gundlach do not feel confident that their aspirations for keeping the Bills in Buffalo long-term are aligned with the interests of the Toronto group.”
Gundlach has been working with Kelly during the Bills’ sale process, and while it seems as if the two parties won’t make a bid for the team on their own, they’ve been working to find a larger bidder for a potential partnership. According to Graham, Jim’s brother Dan Kelly met with Donald Trump, but none of the Kellys have met with Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula, who are viewed as the frontrunners for the franchise.
Multiple sources told Graham prior to his previous report that the Kellys have asked for the following terms in any partnership: A 2% equity in the team, lifetime jobs for Jim and Dan, an up-front cash payment for their services, and final say on all football decisions. Graham’s initial report suggested that Trump wasn’t on board with those terms, so it appears that if the Kellys hope to enter a partnership with any of the bidders, they may have to compromise on one or more of those points.