The NFL knows how to stay in the headlines, and control the calendar. Free agency has been dominating the news cycle for the last week, and it’s been pretty quiet on the Dan Snyder/Washington Commanders sale front. That changed last night via a report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who’s sources tell him the Snyders have left the building...literally.
Per multiple sources, Dan and Tanya Snyder have cleared out of the team’s facility in advance of the sale of the team. As one source explained it, they left in late December.
We’re also told that, within the building, the word being used regarding a potential sale is “imminent.” Multiple sources said that a sale could be approved and announced as soon as the upcoming league meetings in Arizona.
Dan Snyder has always been a hands on owner, and rarely missed games, big hiring ceremonies, retirements, etc. This season was different, with Snyder being noticeably missing from the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys, Sonny Jurgenson’s number retirement, owners meetings, and other big events, Dan and Tanya Snyder announced they had hired Bank of America Securities on November 2nd, 2022 to explore potential transactions for the team’s ownership.
Several Snyder moves have led to speculation that Snyder is tying up some loose ends before selling the team, and potentially moving to England. He listed England as his normal place of residence on a business application. He listed his mansion in Maryland for $49 million, and his Virginia mansion isn’t being used while he’s staying across the pond.
Another sign that a sale is close. He's cleared out of more than just the Commanders' HQ in Ashburn. https://t.co/bDOiYB9OWp— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) March 17, 2023
While I don't expect it to go on the market like his Potomac house (at least while that mansion is still on the market), but let's just say his Alexandria residence is just sitting there. He's living in London after all.— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) March 17, 2023
The latest positive news on the potential sale moving forward came when it was reported that Josh Harris had added Mitchell Rales to his bid to buy the team. Rales is another local billionaire, and has a lot of connections in the area that could lead to a return to the RFK stadium site. Tilman Fertitta is also interested in buying the team and placed a bid of more than $5.5 billion. The mystery of whether Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is being blocked from bidding continues, but he did reportedly sign a confidentiality agreement which could be a sign he’s still interested.
Snyder’s refusal to say whether he is trying to sell the entire franchise, or trying to sell a minority stake, has made other NFL owners impatient. There is always a fear that he will try to back out of the sale, or never intended to sell the team. There is also the report that he has demanded that he received indemnification from the NFL to protect him from future lawsuits and settlements. Snyder has used this tactic in the past to protect himself from lawsuits that he knew were coming. NFL owners are not agreeing to that, but Snyder has denied that request was ever made.
There’s still an issue to be resolved over Dan Snyder’s request to be indemnified by the other owners. As one source explained it, the request for indemnification includes the matters that are currently being investigated by outside lawyer Mary Jo White. It’s believed that the other owners will never agree to such broad and sweeping legal protection for Snyder.
If Florio’s report about Snyder clearing out from the headquarters of his franchise is true, this is very good news for the progress of the sale. NFL owners will meet starting on March 26th for their annual meetings. There is speculation that sale news could be leaking very soon, and some optimism that the sale could be official as early as the end of the month. It’s still unlikely that the sale would be ready for a vote that quickly, but the NFL wants to move on from Snyder as quickly and quietly as they can so it remains a possibility.