AP source: NFL owners to discuss Snyder at upcoming meeting
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder's future is on the agenda for discussion at upcoming committee meetings in Florida ahead of the annual NFL meeting in Arizona in late March, according to a person familiar with the docket.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the person wasn't authorized to release details, said voting to oust Snyder if he chooses not to sell the team remains a possibility.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, at a league meeting in October, said there's “merit to remove” Snyder. That would take an unprecedented vote of 24 of the other 31 team owners to happen.
Two weeks after Irsay's comments, and with multiple investigations ongoing into the team's workplace culture, finances and Snyder himself, he and wife Tanya hired a firm to “consider possible transactions." Asked at the time if the Snyders were considering selling part or all of the team, a spokesperson said, “We are exploring all options.”
The sales process has since included the likes of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta getting involved to various degrees. The New York Post reported that Snyder was blocking Bezos from putting in for a bid, despite him hiring a firm to explore that possibility.
The Commanders are taking issue with the contents of a newspaper report about the sale process and demands being made by Snyder. The team, in a statement late Monday, said a story published hours earlier by The Washington Post is “simply untrue.”
Citing anonymous sources, the Post reported that Snyder and his attorneys have demanded that NFL owners and the league indemnify him against future legal liability and costs if he sells the team and threatened to sue if not. The Post said Snyder also wants the findings of a league investigation into him kept private and that his demands angered owners and renewed discussion about possibly taking a vote to remove him.
An NFL spokesperson declined to comment Tuesday on the Post report.
In the aftermath of The Washington Post story about Snyder seeking indemnification, ESPN on Tuesday reported that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas related to team finances after prosecutors launched an inquiry into a $55 million loan he took out without the knowledge and approval of his then-minority owners. ESPN said the criminal inquiry is being led by a team of FBI and IRS agents.
Snyder bought out minority owners Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Bob Rothman in spring 2021 after they sued him the previous November seeking an injunction to allow them to sell their shares of the team. That transaction was approved by league owners.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement sent to The Associated Press that Snyder and his previous minority owners “had a series of disputes" before going through mediation with an arbitrator and Commissioner Roger Goodell and coming away with an agreement. McCarthy added, “The agreement included full releases of all claims that were or could have been asserted by any party in the arbitration proceeding.”