Tuesday October 3, 2023

Commanders Sale Remains on Track Even as Complexity Slows Process

  • The NFL finance committee met Wednesday where Josh Harris' $6.05B deal was discussed.
  • The vetting process of Harris' group remains ongoing as main owners meeting approaches.
The shear volume of Josh Harris' agreement to purchase the Washington Commanders could lead to delay in final approval.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Members of the NFL finance committee came to one realization at Wednesday’s meeting: Josh Harris’ bid to purchase the Washington Commanders is complex. 

It is not a shocking development given the worldwide record price of $6.05 billion, Harris’ group having at least a dozen limited partners, and the still-pending investigations of the Commanders and current owner Dan Snyder.

There aren’t any red flags in Harris’ agreement to purchase the Commanders, although one source with knowledge of the meeting told Front Office Sports that the vetting process isn’t totally complete — and the clock is ticking with the next full owners meeting beginning in Minnesota on May 22. 

In a usual sale, the finance committee would meet to set a date for a vote after the body reviews the application. Such a move follows weeks’ worth of research into each member of a potential ownership group by the NFL that includes financial and criminal background checks. 

But there’s technically no application from Harris — who is already the managing owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils — as his deal has progressed in what would be best described as a provisional agreement between Harris and Snyder. 

FOS reported last month that Harris was expected to gain control of the team in June, which would require full ownership approval. At least 24 owners must vote to approve a new owner, meaning a special meeting will be called this summer if a vote doesn’t happen in less than two weeks. 

One source said there are no worries that Harris’ deal will fall apart or that he will become frustrated enough to withdraw. That same source said that the vetting process could be accelerated — especially if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gets behind the effort.

And Snyder remains intent on selling, even if his deal with Harris remains tentative. 

Can it all be concluded over the next 12 days? 

“There’s just a lot to work through,” one source said.

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