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Report: Some NFL owners' attitudes towards forcing Dan Snyder to sell the Washington franchise is shifting

Not enough support yet

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Football Team Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Post spoke with several NFL owners and reports that there seems to be a shifting sentiment among them about the future of Dan Snyder in their 32-member billionaire owners club. Snyder has been making headlines for years for how he treats employees, and how he has ran the Washington franchise into the ground since buying it in 1999. Over the last few years he has been investigated by the NFL twice(one still ongoing) and still has an open investigation from the House Oversight Committee. The Attorney Generals from Washington, D.C. and Virginia also said they would be investigating the alleged financial improprieties that were brought up during the House investigation. Snyder is also having trouble securing public financing for a stadium for the newly rebranded Washington Commanders.

The Washington Post spoke with several owners who said they would like to see Dan Snyder voluntarily sell the team, something that he reportedly has no interest in doing. Snyder wants to keep the team and pass it along to his children, something that former owner Jack Kent Cooke failed to do for his son John when he put it into a trust and it was sold to the highest bidder(Snyder) for $800 million. The team is now valued at $5.6 billion and the values of NFL teams continue to rise with excessively lucrative television and streaming deals.

One of the owners the Washington Post spoke with had the strongest opinion about ousting Snyder and said “He needs to sell. Some of us need to go to him and tell him that he needs to sell.” When asking and pressuring him to sell doesn’t work, they will be forced to call a vote if there is enough interest to oust him. “I think there will be a movement. We need to get 24 votes.”

That view wasn’t as strong with other owners interviewed:

While the other owners who spoke were less emphatic, one agreed many owners would be pleased to see Snyder sell voluntarily and acknowledged that, depending on the results of attorney Mary Jo White’s league-commissioned investigation, an effort to remove him could occur.

That sentiment is not unanimous. A third owner said recently that a move to oust Snyder would be surprising, adding that the franchise currently is more stable than it has been at other points of Snyder’s ownership. A fourth owner said this week he doesn’t know enough about “the process” and is unsure whether other owners will convince Snyder to sell or vote to compel a sale. That owner added he has insufficient information about the situation, in part because White’s investigation remains ongoing.

There is speculation that the NFL will not release the results of the Mary Jo White investigation until the House Reform Committee concludes their investigation and releases whatever they are planning to the public. The Committee also sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission with information it learned about alleged financial improprieties for another possible investigation.

The NFL owners’ next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18-19 in New York. The owners also have regularly scheduled meetings in December and March. There won’t be any action before their investigation of Snyder is concluded, and even then a vote to oust Snyder remains a long-shot unless some significant new information comes out. Dan Snyder has stepped back from day-to-day operations and his wife Tanya continues to represent the franchise at team meetings.

The NFL gets regular reports on the changes made to the Washington Commanders workplace and has reported positive changes since the Beth Wilkinson report came out and offered suggested changes for the entire organization. New Team President Jason Wright will tell you all about the amazing transformation of the workplace and the franchise in general, but none of this means that Dan Snyder should remain an owner after decades of toxicity.

NBA owner Robert Sarver just announced he plans on selling his franchises after being investigated. Many Washington fans hoped that Snyder would have the same reaction, but Snyder is known for his litigation when faced with accusations, and there is a feeling that the owners don’t want a long legal battle from an owner who loves paying lawyers.

The apparent shift among some team owners also may be related to the recent developments involving Robert Sarver, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The NBA suspended Sarver for one year and fined him $10 million after an investigation found that he had used racial epithets and treated female employees by a different standard than their male counterparts, among other violations of that league’s policies. Sarver announced this week that he had begun the process of seeking buyers for the two franchises.

Speaking about the Snyder situation, the NFL owner who spoke most forcefully said the league and its team owners “need to have it happen like the NBA just had,” emphasizing that the preferable outcome would be convincing Snyder to sell voluntarily.

Dan Snyder will always have 4 votes locked up to keep him as an owner. Every other NFC East owner loves having Snyder in their division, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a close ally for a long time. Jones is considered by many to be the real commissioner of the NFL, and it’s rare that things happen at a league level that aren’t at least somewhat approved by the owner who has made everyone else in the league a lot of money over the years.