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NFL owners in the dark about Washington Commanders sale; Dan Snyder is declining to be interviewed by Mary Jo White

Dan Snyder continues to be a thorn in the side of the NFL

NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners started their annual meetings in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday to discuss league business. The Washington Post reported on Friday that a possible vote to remove Dan Snyder as the owner of the Washington Commanders wouldn’t be on the agenda as the sale of the team is still in process.

NFL team owners are pausing any consideration of removing Daniel Snyder from ownership of the Washington Commanders, two people with direct knowledge of the NFL’s inner workings and the owners’ views said Friday.

The owners are waiting to see what occurs over the coming weeks and possibly months with Snyder’s attempt to sell the franchise, his efforts to secure indemnification against legal liability and the outcome of the league’s second investigation into him and the team, said those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

Dan Snyder reportedly demanded indemnification from future lawsuits and settlements, something that the NFL is not prepared to give him.

“The vote-out will happen if he insists on being indemnified” by the league and other owners, one person with direct knowledge of the owners’ views said, before referencing the recent sale of the Denver Broncos. “If the deal [to sell the team] is just like Denver, that’s fine. But if he expects special treatment, that leads to trouble. The biggest thing that will lead to a vote is if he says, ‘Indemnify me.’ That’s the issue.”

The NFL and other owners are reportedly in the dark about the sale process and the prospective buyers for the team. The “lines of communication are completely down” between the league and Snyder. The Post is also reporting that leading bidders attempted to complete a deal to purchase the team before the league meetings started, but there is not expected to be any announcements of a sale being completed.

The Washington Post is also reporting that Dan Snyder has declined to be interviewed for the NFL’s investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and financial improprieties that came from the testimony of former employees of the team before the House Oversight Committee. That investigation is being led by Mary Jo White, who was hired over a year ago, and is reportedly getting close to completing her job. The report is supposed to be released to the public, unlike the NFL’s first investigation into the team’s toxic workplace which was only presented to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as an oral report by Beth Wilkinson. Snyder has reportedly requested that this report also get buried, along with his demand for indemnification from the league.

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has declined to be interviewed by attorney Mary Jo White thus far as she conducts the NFL’s second investigation into Snyder and the team, three people with direct knowledge of the league’s inner workings said.

White is expected to make at least one more attempt to interview Snyder before her investigation is completed, one of those people said. It is not clear whether Snyder will agree.

The NFL and the 31 other team owners would love the Dan Snyder problem to go away quickly and quietly, but it looks like that will have to wait a few more months. Owners aren’t going to even consider a vote until the Mary Jo White investigation is completed, and the sale stalls even more. Snyder has multiple bidders on the team currently, but the numbers have reportedly been lower than the $6 billion sale price he is looking for.

NFL owners will meet again May 22-24, which looks like it could feature a vote to approve a sale or a vote to remove Dan Snyder. Most reports paint the picture that a majority sale is still happening, but Snyder won’t make that easy for the other owners, or the fans that are waiting for him to finally be gone.