San Francisco 49ers Traded Vernon Davis To Denver

Less than 24 hours after the Denver Broncos had their biggest offensive output of the season, the team dove into the trade market to acquire tight end Vernon Davis from the San Francisco 49ers.

In return for Davis and a 2016 seventh-round pick, the 49ers will get the Broncos’ sixth-round pick in 2016 and 2017, Broncos executive vice president of football operations and general manager John Elway confirmed.

“The key here is how quick can we get him involved, and I think we can do that very fast,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “That’s why we made the move, because we want to get him in here, get him as involved as we possibly can and help this offense continue to move forward.”

Davis, who has 441 receptions for 5,640 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career, should fit easily into the Broncos’ offense. Kubiak has repeatedly said he would like to use more two-tight end sets.

“We’re excited to add Vernon to the roster,” Elway said. “He’s a guy that adds great experience, great speed. [He has] been a team leader for the Niners for a long time. He’ll be a great addition, a big weapon for us because of the speed that he has.”

A two-time Pro Bowler, Davis has missed two games this season because of a knee injury, and he has seen his playing time decrease. When Davis didn’t start against the Baltimore Ravens in September, it marked the first time since he was a rookie in 2006 that he did not start a game for which he was healthy.

Davis spoke briefly about the possibility of being traded in the Niners’ locker room after Sunday’s 27-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

“It’s a possibility, and there’s nothing I could do about it,” Davis said. “I’m always prepared for anything. Nothing surprises me.”

Source: ESPN


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For Michael Jackson And Sony/ATV, A Billion-Dollar Thriller Looms

Thirty years ago, Marty Bandier was preparing to offer an eccentric Australian billionaire $50 million for ATV, the music publishing catalogue home to the Beatles and others. He probably would have succeeded in purchasing it–had it not been for Michael Jackson.

Bandier learned this for himself when he arrived in London and met the aforementioned mogul, Robert Holmes a Court, who informed him the catalogue was off the market. Bandier immediately upped his offer by $500,000, but was told another bidder had included something unique: a charity performance at Holmes a Court’s home in Perth. The well-connected Bandier pressed on, saying he could bring just about any big act to Australia.

“No, no, you don’t understand,” said Holmes a Court. “I’m selling this to Michael Jackson.”

Full Coverage: The 13 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities

Bandier, who told me this anecdote while I was reporting my book Michael Jackson, Inc., eventually linked up with his desired catalogue: today, he’s the chief of Sony /ATV, a joint venture between the electronics giant and Jackson’s estate. The entity, created in the mid-1990s as part of a deal that earned Jackson over $100 million, is now estimated to be worth about $2 billion–and earlier this month, Sony decided to initiate a sale process.

Bandier reportedly sent a memo to his employees earlier this month saying Sony had triggered a clause in its agreement with the Jackson estate that could lead to one side buying out the other, or to an outside buyer coming in and purchasing half or all of Sony/ATV sometime in the coming months.

When I contacted Sony/ATV last week and asked for a comment from Bandier regarding the state of the sale process, representatives referred me to a Sony; a spokesperson there declined to comment. Some have speculated that the Japanese conglomerate is looking to sell its stake for the same reason it sold its New York headquarters for $1.1 billion in 2013: to raise cash.

John Branca, the co-executor of Jackson’s estate, told me that it’s too early to know who all the bidders would be, but that the estate would be among them. Said Branca: “We intend to buy the company.”

That’s a remarkable statement, considering the state of Jackson’s finances in the years before he passed away. The singer had accumulated nearly half a billion dollars in debt, most of it high-interest and taken out against his half of Sony/ATV.

But since his death in 2009, the Jackson estate has pulled in over $1 billion in pretax earnings, enough to pay off his personal debts and more. He earned $115 million over the past year alone, easily garnering him the top spot on our Halloween-spooky list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities.

“This major disaster gave him a chance to shine,” says Josh Rubenstein, National Chair of Trusts and Estates at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. “Jackson’s untimely and dramatic death, with all the drama surrounding it, also creates this allure.”

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