How did Commanders ownership race mercifully reach the endgame?
By Dean Jones
Has the drawn-out ownership race to buy the Washington Commanders finally, mercifully, reached the endgame after months of speculation?
The saga surrounding Dan Snyder selling the Washington Commanders is at an end. Something fans have heard before, but with Jeff Bezos reportedly out of the running, it left the billionaire with no option other than to agree to a deal – in principle – with the ownership group led by Josh Harris.
Snyder was probably hoping for Bezos to swoop in with a whopping offer that blew everyone else out of the water. That wasn’t the case, but $6.05 billion is not a bad consolation prize when one considers he originally bought the franchise for $800 million.
Commanders can look forward to an exciting new era
This started with a report on Thursday from Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, who stated that something concrete could be announced before the 2023 NFL Draft. The insider, citing multiple sources close to the situation, revealed that official confirmation could even arrive in the next week, which turned out to be much sooner than that.
"“The Washington Commanders will soon set an NFL record for the most expensive sale in league history, and the winning bidder could be revealed within the next week or so according to multiple sources who spoke to CBS Sports recently. CBS Sports reported two weeks ago that the sale could take place within three weeks, and it appears that timeline remains intact for now.”"
This was swiftly followed by a breaking story from Sportico, confirming that Harris and Snyder had come to an agreement. It’s not exclusive – so Steve Apostolopoulos is still hoping to enter the fray – but it would be a surprise at this stage if the Philadelphia 76ers co-owner didn’t get the nod along with partners Mitchell Rales and Magic Johnson.
Tilman Fertitta recently said he is not going to up his offer of $5.6 million. Apostolopoulos remains in contention according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, but time is now of the essence to make an improved offer.
After Bezos bowed out, Snyder had a simple choice. Adopt a stubborn approach and risk matters being taken out of his hands with potential repercussions attached as investigations into workplace culture continue, or ride off into the sunset with generational wealth.
At least from the outside looking in, it was a simple conclusion to make. Especially considering all the allegations, scandals, and settlements that have surfaced around Snyder in recent years.
Nothing has been signed and sealed just yet. The deal needs approval from NFL owners, which shouldn’t be too difficult given how much shame Snyder’s brought on the league for more than two decades.
It’s been a long, arduous journey for fans, who became pretty sick and tired of the Commanders becoming a laughing-stock under Snyder. After frustrations, false promises, and everything in between, a new era has finally arrived at long last.
There’s an obvious sense of skepticism after one or two false alarms earlier this year. However, this time feels different after an accepted offer rather than someone outlining their intent to buy the Commanders.
Something that’s been a long time coming.