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Owners Privately Expect Dan Snyder to Sell Commanders

  • Commanders owner did not attend league meeting.
  • Colts owner Jim Irsay changes tune from last quarterly session.
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder standing at podium talking to media
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

IRVING, Texas — Dan Snyder was again absent from the latest NFL owners meetings. 

There’s a growing sense among at least some of those here that the Washington Commanders owner wouldn’t have to worry about these quarterly quorums much longer.

There was less talk about removing Snyder as multiple ownership sources told Front Office Sports that they expect Snyder to follow through with a sale of at least a controlling interest in the franchise. 

“It certainly looks that way,” one owner who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

Publicly, the owners were more muted. That included longtime ally and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who told reporters outside a waiting black Lexus sedan that he “didn’t have any comment” about the Commanders. 

Messaging Audible

At the last league meetings in October, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said there was “merit” to removing Snyder. This process would require 24 votes and has never happened in league history. 

Irsay was more muted this time. 

“It’s going to take everyone in the league to have to push toward that,” Irsay said. “We will see where things move going into the New Year.

“The three-quarters vote has served the league well. There needs to be some time, maybe behind the scenes, and maybe some other solutions can be found.” 

Privately, some owners hope those “other solutions” would include Snyder selling the franchise.

The Commanders announced on November 2 that the team was “exploring all options,” including a full or partial sale of the franchise he purchased in 1999 for about $900 million. 

“I don’t have any expectations on that,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Dan’s statement that he put out that he was exploring [a sale], and we will continue to work with him on that.”

It’s expected that Snyder could get at least $7 billion for a full sale of the team.

The Washington Post reported that Bank of America was moving forward with the sales process, although it’s still unclear whether it’s a full or partial sale. FOS reported last week that Snyder was considering selling 20% or less of the team — something that would be a non-starter for some owners. 

While it’s still unclear whether there are 24 votes to remove Snyder, one owner told FOS there might not be the three-quarters votes needed to approve a minority owner that would be required if Snyder finds one.

Brief Congressional Update

The owners were briefed on the House Oversight Committee’s final report of the Commanders, an investigation into the team that spanned more than a year. 

That briefing lasted less than five minutes, according to one owner.

There was no briefing on the status of May Jo White’s investigation, the second outside probe into the team that began last February. White is examining a claim of sexual harassment against Snyder and allegations of financial improprieties.

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 Snyder has denied both claims.

“Mary Jo has not been given a timeline,” Goodell said. “She’s got an awful lot of work to do on both of these investigations, and I’m not gonna press her to do that [faster]. She knows she has our full support, and she’s continuing to make progress, but when she’s done, she’ll let us know.”

Commanders co-CEO Tanya Snyder, the wife of Dan Snyder, represented the team again at the quarterly meeting. However, during the two-day event, she kept her distance from reporters — including several from Washington. 

FOS sought comment from Commanders lawyer Norman Chirite, who was seen alongside Tanya Snyder at the meetings. Chirite declined to comment. 

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