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One of the oldest and most prestigious franchises in the NFL could go up for sale soon. The Chicago Bears reportedly could hit the market soon due to “internal strife” among members of the McCaskey family, the team’s current owners, according to Jim O’Donnell of the Daily Herald.

The Bears have been in the Halas family for five generations. Virginia Halas McCaskey, daughter of George Halas, is currently the team’s principal owner. She is 98, however, and has allowed her son, George H. McCaskey to serve as chairman with the team. 

O’Donnell did not expand on which members of the McCaskey family are at odds over the decision to sell the team. He notes that there’s a belief Virginia does not want to sell the team. Virginia McCaskey is not only the oldest owner in the NFL, she’s also the longest-tenured team owner in the league. 

Who will buy the Bears if they go up for sale?

There are three main suitors for the Bears, according to O’Donnell. They are: Jeff Bezos, Neil Bluhm and Pat Ryan.

Bezos is mostly mentioned because his name comes up any time there are rumors an NFL team could be available. There were reports in 2019 that Bezos — who started Amazon — was interested in buying a team. Since then, his name comes up in any possible sale.

Both Bluhm and Ryan have bigger connection to the Bears. Ryan already co-owns 19.7 percent of the team. He has one of the first options to buy up McCaskey stock if any family members decide to sell. Bluhm tried to buy that 19.7 percent share in 1987-88, but the team blocked the sale, instead finding Andy McKenna to partner with Ryan to buy the share. 

It’s possible other buyers will emerge if the Bears are available. The franchise hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1985, but is still recognized as one of the most popular in the NFL. 

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