The decision by Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder to hire Bank of America Securities to investigate the possibility of selling the franchise sent stunned many in the NFL world. It also might be the result of increasing pressure on Snyder.
Currently facing six investigations for allegations of sexual assault, harassment and financial misconduct, the Commanders’ owner is facing federal, state and NFL inquiries. Despite all of it, many believed for months that the 57-year-old would never sell the franchise.
Snyder then announced on Nov. 2 that he hired BofA Securities to consider possible transactions for the Commanders, including the possibility of an outright sale.
As multiple interested buyers line up to make a run at the team, including Jeff Bezos, there is new information regarding what exactly compelled Snyder to explore something he refused to do for years.
According to Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal, multiple NFL owners privately urged Snyder to sell the franchise. There is a widespread belief that the allegations against Snyder and his negative reputation will never go away, hurting the NFL as a business and further depreciating the value of the Commanders.
Until Snyder’s announcement, many owners expected that he would make things get ugly with the NFL before ever putting the team up for bids. ESPN previously reported that Snyder allegedly hired private investigators to uncover damaging information about commissioner Roger Goodell and his peers around the league.
“Jim Irsay was the only one who said his piece in public, but other NFL owners have confronted Snyder privately in recent weeks—and more have told commissioner Roger Goodell that something must give, sources tell me. Wednesday’s shock announcement from the Snyders that they’d entertain offers for the team, those same sources said, came in light of that growing consensus that the end must come, one way or another.”Ben Fischer on Jim Irsay, NFL owners’ feelings on Daniel Snyder’s future
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay became the only stakeholder to publicly call for Snyder’s removal. While it was originally believed to be an instance of Irsay speaking out without the NFL’s approval, there seems to be a growing sentiment that NFL owners used Irsay as their messenger.
There is still a realistic possibility that Snyder keeps the franchise or sells a minority stake to another individual. With offers expected to eclipse $6 billion for the franchise, though, the opportunity to walk away from the NFL with a historic compensation package might be enough to push him out.