“Dan and Tanya Snyder and the Washington Chiefs announced today that they are considering a potential transaction for BofA Securities,” the chiefs said in a statement. “The Snyders remain committed to putting the best product on the field for the team, their entire staff and their countless fans and continuing to work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL.”
A person familiar with NFL franchise transactions said Daniel Snyder recently expressed interest in selling a minority stake in the team, but did not know that was his intention. Two others familiar with NFL internal operations said it was unclear what Snyder intended to do.
“We are exploring all options,” said a spokesman for the commanders.
Snyder and family members own the entire franchise. Snyder led a group of investors that bought the team and stadium from the Jack Kent Cooke estate in 1999 for $800 million. Forbes estimated in August that the commanders were worth $5.6 billion.
“Any transaction must be submitted to the NFL Finance Committee and requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters (24 of 32 teams) of the full membership,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday.
Such approval is required to sell a minority stake or the entire group. The NFL declined further comment on the upcoming transaction.
Wednesday’s announcement comes as Snyder and his commanders are under investigation by the NFL, the Oversight and Reform Committee and attorneys general in D.C. and Virginia.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has said in recent weeks that he and other NFL team owners should pay close attention to voting to remove Snyder from the Chiefs’ ownership.
“I think we’re going to have more and more discussions on that,” Irsay told reporters at the owners’ meeting in New York last month. “It’s a difficult situation. I believe it is worth removing it as it belongs. [Commanders]. I think it’s something we should review. We have to look at all the evidence, and we have to be more careful to move forward. But I think it’s something to seriously consider.
A spokesman for the commander issued the following statement that day: “Mr. Irsay making public statements based on falsehoods in the media is highly inappropriate, but not surprising.” It is unfortunate that Mr. Irsay decided to make the statement today while an investigation is underway and that the team has not had the opportunity to formally respond to the allegations. The commanders have made remarkable progress in the past two years. We are confident that, when he has the opportunity to see the actual evidence in this case, Mr. Irsay Snyders will conclude that there is no reason to consider selling the franchise. They won’t do it,” he said.
Irsay expanded on his comments in a phone interview Friday: “I’m not sure how this report is going to come out. But what has already come out is extremely disturbing, and I do not agree with the process. And I don’t agree that we haven’t talked about something more serious like getting rid of his owner. As I said, it’s not something I’m saying we should do. I am saying that it is a matter that should be given a lot of attention.
A vote of at least three-fourths of the owners is needed to remove Snyder from ownership. Several owners told the Post in September that they believe trying to oust Snyder from the league’s ownership ranks could be a serious consideration, either by persuading him to sell the franchise or by voting to remove him.
“Must sell,” one of the owners then said. “Some of us need to go to him and tell him he needs to sell.”
It was not immediately clear Wednesday whether any owners had urged Snyder to sell.
“I think there will be movement,” said the same owner in September. “We need to get 24 votes.”
The NFL’s current investigation is being conducted by attorney Mary Jo White.
“Mary Jo White is continuing her evaluation,” McCarthy said Wednesday. “We have no update on the timeline.”
The league began its investigation of White after Tiffany Johnston, the team’s former cheerleader and marketing manager, said Snyder harassed her at a team dinner at a congressional meeting in February, put his hand on her thigh and pushed her into a limo. Snyder denied the allegations, calling them “absolutely false.”
In June, The Post detailed the employee’s claim that Snyder sexually assaulted her while flying on his private jet in April 2009. That same year, the team agreed to pay the fired employee $1.6 million in a confidential settlement. In the year In a 2020 court filing, Snyder called the woman’s claims “absurd.”
In April, a House committee detailed allegations in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission about Snyder and his group’s alleged lack of funds. Democratic District Attorney Carl A. Racine and Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Myares, Republican of Virginia, announced an investigation. The group has denied any embezzlement.
Racine’s office is nearing completion of its investigation and plans to take further action in the case, a person familiar with that investigation said last month.
“Today’s news that Dan and Tanya Snyder are selling the Washington Commanders is a welcome development for the team, its past and present employees and its many supporters,” said attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, representing more than 40 former team employees. In a statement on Wednesday. “We’ll have to see how this plays out, but this could be a big step toward healing and closure for the many brave women and men who come forward.”
The NFL has not said when White’s investigation will be completed. The league said White’s report will be made public, unlike the findings of an earlier investigation into the team’s workplace by attorney Beth Wilkinson.
The House committee is expected to announce its findings in the coming weeks. Daniel Snyder spent more than 10 hours in July testifying remotely with the committee. In September, former team president Bruce Allen gave a 10-hour teleconference.
In March, Snyder bought out the three partners who own 40 percent of the franchise — Dwight Schaar, Fred Smith and Robert Rothman — for $875 million. That transaction required 31 owners to be allowed to pay down an additional $450 million in debt.
The Post reported in November 2020 that Snyder’s limited partners accepted a $900 million offer from Behad Egbali and Jose Feliciano, the billionaire founders of Clearlake Capital, and Feliciano’s owner, Quanza Jones. The sale was blocked, people familiar with the situation said at the time, because Snyder was trying to exercise his right of first refusal by matching the offers for Smith and Rothman but not the offer for Schar. That led to a debate over whether Snyder had the right to exercise those rights selectively.
Egbali and Feliciano were reportedly among the bidders for the Denver Broncos, which were sold by the Pat Bowlen Trust in June to a team led by Walmart heir Rob Walton for $4.65 million. That’s the most ever paid for an NFL franchise. The owners approved Walton’s purchase in August.
The team’s announcement Wednesday comes with negotiations for public funding for the Warriors’ new stadium. A state lawmaker who led the effort to lure the commanders to Virginia said in June that those attempts had stalled. State Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslau (D-Fairfax) said: “There were just so many things out there that a lot of people are saying, ‘Saslau, this thing has to wait.’ “
Earlier Wednesday, the Chiefs said Snyder would not sell the team. A team spokesman said following Irsay’s first public comments: “We are confident that Mr. Irsay Snyders will have no reason to consider selling the franchise when he has had the opportunity to see the actual evidence in this matter.” They won’t do it,” he said.
In the year In July 2021, the NFL announced that the team had been fined $10 million based on the Wilkinson investigation and that Tanya Snyder would take over the day-to-day operations of the franchise indefinitely.