Bowlen tried to 'screen' family's involvement

2/10/2004 - Denver Broncos

DENVER -- The family of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen
discussed ways to "screen" their potential involvement in the
team from former owner Edgar Kaiser, according to documents
introduced in a trial over the 1984 sale of the team.

Kaiser's federal lawsuit accuses Bowlen of distributing
ownership interests in the Broncos to family members in violation
of the sale agreement.

On Monday, Kaiser's attorneys produced minutes from the Bowlen
family trust and a draft "ownership and operation agreement" the
family considered and revised.

Bowlen's attorneys said the family agreement was never signed.
The document acknowledged the family would need to "screen" from
Kaiser its ability to finance Bowlen's purchase of the team for $65

Bowlen took the stand for the first time Monday, the sixth day
of the trial. He said the family trust never actually bought a
share of the team.

"It was one of many options," Bowlen said.

Bowlen's brother, John Bowlen, also testified Monday, denying
that the family intended to defraud Kaiser or that Pat Bowlen
promised partial ownership to his family before the purchase.

Kaiser's lawsuit also said Bowlen gave quarterback John Elway a
chance to buy a stake in the team, despite a provision that gave
Kaiser the first shot at any such offer.

Elway testified Friday that he decided against taking Bowlen's

Bowlen's attorneys have disputed Kaiser's claim to a right of
first refusal and said the question was moot because Elway declined
the offer.

If Kaiser wins, a second trial will be held to determine what
Bowlen owes him, which could include monetary damages or a chance
to buy a share of the team.