A New York Times report indicated David Tepper was out of the mix to purchase the Panthers, but Tepper has insisted that’s not the case. The hedge-fund billionaire and part-owner of the Steelers said he still is in the mix. “I have to tell you, for me, I like the people down there. They remind me of my original hometown, Pittsburgh. The only thing I’m telling you is I haven’t dropped out,” Tepper said, via Katherine Peralta and Rick Rothacker of the Charlotte Observer. “We’ll see what tomorrow brings.” Tepper remaining in the mix leaves he, Ben Navarro and Alan Kestenbaum vying to succeed Jerry Richardson as the Panthers’ owner. However, David Newton of ESPN.com reports an unnamed fourth candidate is still in the running. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com also tweets Tepper has called several people to confirm he’s still interested. This is significant since Tepper is believed to be the candidate most preferred by the NFL’s current ownership base. Navarro is believed to have offered a would-be-record $2.6 billion, and the winning bid could be announced later this month. All three of the remaining candidates have visited Panthers headquarters.