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The Athletic brings some clarity to the Washington Commanders sale situation

What a mess.

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NFL: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There have been conflicting reports about the sale of the Commanders almost from the beginning; this week’s seeming dueling reports between the Washington Post, who reported that Jeff Bezos had hired Allen & Co. to assist him in analyzing a potential bid for the Commanders, and the NY Post, who reported that Snyder had “benched” Bezos and would refuse to sell to him, simply seemed to further muddy the waters.

Today, Ben Standig of the Athletic, relying on informed sources, reconciled the two reports, indicating that both are true.

According to Standig’s article, Dan Snyder has refused to cooperate with Bezos, adding that “Bezos, because he is barred from bidding, has not had access to the team’s finances.”

The Athletic article goes on to say what the Washington Post earlier reported; that is, that Bezos may not let that stop him from participating, saying that The Athletic also confirmed the earlier Washington Post report that Bezos has been working with banking firm Allen & Co. as he ponders a bid.

Standig did not offer details about how Bezos would enter the bidding, but quoted one source in reference to Dan Snyder’s refusal to cooperate with any Bezos bid: “It’s a free country, he can sell to whomever he wants,” the person briefed on the sale process said.

The new article does indicate that the potential sale is moving forward, saying that a person close to the situation told The Athletic that activity with the potential sale has “ramped up.”

The Athletic article also discussed the numerous reports about the amount of the bids, reports about Snyder’s asking price, and fears that the Commanders current owner might not actually sell the team.

Snyder announced in November the club had retained Bank of America to run a process that could result in a full or partial sale of the team, though doubts have persisted he will follow through.

Those doubts will only be further stoked by the Bezos exclusion, and word that the bids may not have reached Snyder’s preferred threshold.

“This is playing out exactly how many feared,” said one sports lawyer of the scenario that Snyder would create an unrealistic price threshold, keep out the wealthiest bidder, and not sell the team.

Most fans of the team fervently hope that Dan and Tanya Snyder actually do follow through with their intent to sell the team, and for most fans, that can’t happen soon enough.