Panthers sale tentatively slated to be voted on in May

The ongoing sale of the Carolina Panthers is tentatively slated to be discussed and voted on by team owners at the Spring League Meeting in May, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Wednesday.

The league initially hoped they could vote on the Panthers' sale during the Annual League Meeting in March, Rapoport reported.

Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist David Tepper is considered a strong contender to purchase the team, a high-ranking team executive with knowledge of the process told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo earlier this month. Another source informed of the discussions so far also reiterated to Garafolo that Tepper was a strong contender, going so far as to label him the "leader in the clubhouse."

South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro is among those interested in buying the team and has been working on putting together a bid, Garafolo reported.

In order for the sale to become official, three-fourths of NFL team owners must approve the team's purchase.

Majority owner Jerry Richardson announced he was selling the team in December after the league took over an investigation looking into allegations of workplace misconduct against him. The Panthers officially went up for sale following the team's wild-card loss last month. Richardson, the franchise founder, ceded day-to-day control of the team in December to Tina Becker, a 20-year employee of the team who was promoted to chief operating officer. Richardson, 81, remains under NFL investigation.