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Washington Commanders Sale News: Magic Johnson joins Josh Harris group; contracts have delayed payouts

Another addition to the Josh Harris ownership group

L.A. Event Center and NFL Stadium Press Conference Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The sale of the Washington Commanders seems to be getting close to an announcement. There has been a lot of positive signs that Dan Snyder will finally sell the team that he has owned for almost 24 years. There are still issues that need to be resolved like Snyder’s demand for indemnification from the other NFL owners for liability from lawsuits and settlements. NFL owners are getting together for their annual meeting starting on March 26th, where a sale will be discussed, and possibly voted on,

Sportico reported that Magic Johnson will be joining the Josh Harris group that also recently added billionaire Mitchell Rales. Johnson was also involved in the Harris group for their bid on the Denver Broncos last year. The Harris group is considered the favorites to purchase the team unless Jeff Bezos finally makes a bid.

The former NBA star and notable sports investor was also part of Harris’s failed bid for the NFL’s Denver Broncos last year. He is providing both money and expertise to the Commanders bid, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the details are private. The group is one of a handful still in talks with current owner Dan Snyder, who is exploring a possible sale amid numerous accusations and investigations into financial impropriety and a hostile work environment.

The Athletic’s Ben Standig also had an article yesterday that could be related to the impending sale of the franchise. Washington has extended the payout date on signing bonuses for newly signed contracts by two months, pushing the date to 5/12/23. This could push the payments on to the next owner, and gives us a newish deadline for the sale to be finalized. People would love the NFL owners to vote on this at their meetings this month, but the sale might not be finalized by then and could stretch for a few more weeks.

The general practice among all 32 NFL teams historically has been to pay out at least a portion of large signing bonuses within 15 to 30 days of the transaction date. This cycle, the Commanders have extended the payout date by two months, according to multiple sources who have seen the executed contracts.

That date? May 12, 2023, according to people who have seen the contracts for defensive tackle Daron Payne and two recently signed free agents. Those and other people involved in or familiar with NFL contracts suggested to The Athletic that this unusual aspect makes sense in conjunction with owner Dan Snyder’s anticipated franchise sell-by date.