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Derek Jeter reached on-deck circle while examining Bills purchase, sources say

You almost can hear late Yankee Stadium public-address announcer Bob Sheppard proclaiming the man's arrival every Sunday in Orchard Park.

Now owning the Buffalo Bills ... the former shortstop ... No. 2 ... Derek Jeter.

And there, from the Ralph Wilson Stadium owner's box, the beloved New York Yankees captain would wave to the crowd.

Sounds like a fantasy, but maybe the thought wasn't so otherworldly for the Bills and perhaps could happen for another NFL club.

Two sources have informed me that Jeter, while playing his farewell season with the Yankees, explored purchasing the Bills when they were for sale last year.

Uncertain is whether Jeter wanted to lead a group or be a minority partner. But given the Bills eventual, record-breaking sale price of $1.4 billion, he likely would have needed to settle for shareholder status.

The Pegulas were not aware of Jeter's prior interest, have not been approached by Jeter and have not considered selling a portion of their team to him, a highly placed Bills source said.




The Yankees forwarded an inquiry about Jeter's exploration of the Bills to agent Casey Close, who did not respond. The public-relations company that handles Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Jeter has a long-established desire to run a Major League Baseball team.

The NFL apparently is attractive to him, too.

Jeter made loads of cash playing for the Yankees and through lucrative endorsement deals with companies such as Nike and Gatorade. But he didn't make "NFL controlling owner" money, especially not since the Pegulas set a record to buy one of the league's least-valuable teams.

Forbes magazine in September estimated Jeter made $400 million over his career in salary and endorsements.

The Miami Marlins would be more in Jeter's financial wheelhouse. Rumors of Jeter's interest in the Marlins have circulated since December, when the Tampa resident toured their stadium for some reason.

But if Jeter had signed the nondisclosure agreement and emerged as a candidate to buy the Bills, then I imagine fans would appreciate his pursuit more than they did Donald Trump's or Jon Bon Jovi's.

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