6 candidates who can replace Dan Snyder as owner of the Commanders

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Dan and Tanya Snyder
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Dan and Tanya Snyder /
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A stunning bombshell interview at the team owner’s meetings in New York on Tuesday could bring about a change in ownership of the Washington Commanders, but it is not imminent.  However, the process seems to be pointing in that direction.

First and foremost, a sale of the Washington Commanders is not happening anytime soon, but a shocking development this week has put that possibility on the table.  The owners of all 32 teams held their fall meeting in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday and very little was expected to transpire.  That all changed on Tuesday afternoon when Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay gave an interview that shook the entire ownership fraternity to its core.

Irsay put typical ownership decorum aside and did something that is rarely seen in the NFL – he publicly criticized another team owner and did so with a piercing directness.  The target of his ire was none other than Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and the Colts owner did not hold back whatsoever.  The NFL owners are akin to a secret society and what usually occurs in meetings behind closed doors rarely becomes known to the public.  The obvious exceptions are procedural changes, rule(s) changes, schedule considerations, financial dealings, stadium possibilities, sponsorship deals, and formal/informal changes as needed.

If an owner comes under attack for whatever reason, a “code of silence” is almost always enacted amongst the ownership group and the matter(s) is/are kept from the media and the public in general.  What happened on Tuesday simply goes against this unwritten rule and it could strain ownership relationships for a period of time.  What Irsay did was turn the establishment upside down, even if it is for a brief period of time.  Tuesday evening brought more fireworks as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Patriots owner Robert Kraft were reported to be involved in a very heated exchange.  Did some of that conversation center on Dan Snyder?  We may never know, but Jones and Snyder are known to be close friends.

Honestly, it is very premature to know if a sale of the Commanders will actually come to fruition, but it certainly seems like something could be brewing.  Congress is investigating Snyder and what has allegedly taken place at Commanders Park over the years.  The NFL has an ongoing investigation as well and it is unknown when it will conclude or what will become of Snyder.  He could be fully exonerated.  He could face sanctions, fines, suspension, and/or various penalties.

The ownership group also has the option of voting Snyder out of the league and the team would be up for sale.  To be sure, Dan Snyder will unquestionably take the league to court and try to keep the team, but his efforts would fail.  When any prospective owner moves to purchase a franchise, it is with the legal understanding that he/she can be voted in and can be voted out at any given time in the future.  Is such a vote on Dan Snyder’s ownership coming sometime soon?

If such a vote is inevitable in the coming months or within a year or two, there would be plenty of suitors who could step forward as the new owner of the Commanders.  Any expectations of a sale at this juncture are obviously speculative, but it is not beyond our collective imaginations to think about it.  It’s no secret that the overwhelming majority of Commanders fans would love nothing more than to see Dan Snyder as the former owner of the team, but keep in mind that this is far from having any kind of a conclusion.

With that in mind, we are here today to take a look at potential new owners.  We’ll focus on six individuals who could be buyers, but let’s talk about one of them right now – the seventh buyer – Unknown.  If a sale happens, the buyer could end up being a total surprise to media and fans alike.  “Unknown” could be anyone and Dan Snyder was an unknown when he was the majority leader in a group of buyers in 1999.  Let’s take a look at our list of six – we will place them from least likely to most likely.