PHOENIX — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t break any news regarding the outside investigation into the Washington Commanders or the potential sale of the embattled franchise owned by Dan Snyder at Wednesday’s Super Bowl news conference.
There haven’t been many revelations on the Commanders’ sale since Front Office Sports reported last month that bidders were told Snyder was looking to offload at least a majority stake of the team.
One factor for the lack of news: Snyder appears to be holding out for a $7 billion bid for the franchise, two sources with knowledge of the process told FOS.
The highest offer through the first round of bids closed in December was $6.3 billion. That would be a worldwide record for a sports franchise and $1.6 billion more than the Denver Broncos sold last year.
But that’s still below the rosy prognostications that the Commanders could fetch as much as $8 billion.
A Commanders’ spokesperson declined to comment.
Where is Jeff Bezos?
While there are no indications Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has put in a bid, one source told FOS that Bezos could be the among the only potential suitor willing to pay close to $7 billion.
The rub is Snyder’s apparent unwillingness to sell to Bezos, who owns The Washington Post. The outlet exposed the toxic workplace claims and detailed a previously unknown harassment claim against Snyder in 2009. Snyder denied the allegations of harassment.
Since Snyder announced in November that he’d explore options with the team that could include a sale of the franchise he purchased for around $800 million in 1999, neither he nor the team has provided an update.
“Ultimately, if they reach a conclusion and have someone that will be joining the ownership group or buying the team entirely, that’s something that [NFL] ownership will look at,” Goodell said.
A source told FOS that there remains some concern around the league that Snyder may ultimately decide not to sell if he doesn’t get closer to $7 billion. But there’s still belief around the league that Snyder will sell most — if not all — of the team, especially since the potential sale has quelled the effort to remove Snyder.
One owner told Front Office Sports this week that an application hasn’t been submitted to the NFL’s finance committee, which isn’t unexpected. The application to the finance committee would only come after Snyder has decided whether to accept a bid for the franchise.
Once an application is sent to the committee, members will conduct a review before a vote is brought to full ownership. From there, it would take 24 owners (three-fourths of the league’s 32 owners) to approve either a full or minority owner.
Former SEC chief Mary Jo White began the NFL’s second outside investigation into the team and Snyder nearly a year ago. One source told FOS that there are indications that the probe is “wrapping up.”
“As I’ve said many times, there’s no timeline given to Mary Jo White,” Goodell said. “She is authorized to work independently. There is no timeline for her to come to any conclusions. When she does that, she will let me know, and we will let the public know at that point in time.”