Dan Snyder’s future a hot topic at NFL owners meetings
PHOENIX — Dan Snyder’s future in the NFL as owner of the Washington Commanders remains in standby mode while his peers gathered at a posh resort for the league’s annual meetings and waited for news on the potential sale of the team.
A discussion on Snyder isn’t on the formal agenda this week, three people familiar with those details told The Associated Press on Monday. Still, Snyder was a hot topic of conversation despite his absence and even while quarterback Lamar Jackson’s trade request dominated headlines.
“I think he’s put the team up for sale. I believe that something is close to happening,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “I don’t know that for sure. We’ll wait and see what happens.”
Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos recently joined groups led by Josh Harris and Tilman Fertitta to bid on purchasing the Commanders. Once Snyder accepts an offer, he must submit the bidder’s name to the NFL for approval. That hasn’t happened yet, a person told the AP. Last fall, 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.” Tanya continues to represent the team at league events.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has said there’s “merit to remove” Snyder as owner of the Commanders. That would take an unprecedented vote of 24 of the other 31 team owners to happen.
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, a person told the AP. Two owners said they were angered by Snyder’s demand for indemnification but told the AP that they want to let the sale process play out before taking any action.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Snyder’s situation has changed their relationship.
“I think that it’s a little more formal, but I think it’s that way because of the various issues that are involved here,” Jones said. “It’s not ‘lovey-dovey,’ but it’s not really strained in any way.”
Snyder and the team are still under investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who was retained by the league to look into various aspects of the organization stemming from a congressional review into workplace misconduct that also included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for potential business improprieties.
A spokesperson declined to comment when asked if Snyder had refused to speak with White, saying it’s a confidential matter between the club and the league. Snyder is facing other civil suits and investigations.
The Attorney General for the District of Columbia filed two suits in civil court against the Commanders late last year: one for a scheme to cheat fans out of ticket money and another naming Snyder, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league, saying they colluded to deceive fans about an investigation into the team’s workplace culture that ended with a $10 million fine and no written report.