Commanders Notes: Snyder-Jones Relationship, Prospective Bidders, Potential Sale Timeline

The matter of a potential Commanders sale has been a talking point for months now, as the view other NFL owners take of Dan Snyder has worsened. That trend has stretched to even affect his Cowboys counterpart, Jerry Jones.

A bombshell report from October indicated that Snyder had dug up dirt on his fellow owners, as a means of providing leverage against a vote forcing him to sell his team. In the wake of that report – which the 58-year-old has denied – it was said that Jones still counted himself amongst Snyder’s supporters. That appears to still be the case, but relations between the two have changed.

“I would say we’ve had to be more formal in our conversations,” Jones said, via USA Today’s Jarrett Bell“We’re not as cavalier as we might have been. Follow me? Don’t know who’s listening. Who’s what? So, we’ve had to be more formal.”

Jones added that Snyder is “not the most beloved guy around,” and that he wouldn’t be worth “taking a sword” for. That marks a notable stance potentially in favor of a sale, something which would likely go a long way amongst other owners, given Jones’ sway in that particular group and his reputation for supporting Snyder more than most.

Here are some other notes related to the Commanders and their hypothetical sales process:

  • Josh Harris, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and English Premier League club Crystal Palace, toured the Commanders’ facility earlier this month, per Ben Standig and Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic (subscription required). He did the same last summer as as prospective buyer of the Broncos, so this action signals his interested in becoming owner of the next NFL team to (potentially) go on the market. Around that same time, another, unnamed candidate toured the facility as well, according to the Washington Post’s Mark Maske, Nicki Jhabvala and Liz Clarke. This past Friday, another potential buyer did the same, Jhabvla tweets.
  • It was reported in December that an initial bidding process took place, one which notably did not include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Providing clarity on that front, Standig and Kaplan note that that December process actually consisted of “non-binding indications of interest,” which do not require formal bids taking place. That is the next step, though, and is expected to take place soon. Once it happens, however, there may be a distinct lack of competition amongst prospective buyers. Lydia Moynihan of the New York Post reports that only two serious contenders remain in the running (including Harris, and not Bezos); they have each showed a willingness to reach the $6BB mark in a sales price, though liquidity would be an issue on Harris’ and the unnamed other bidder’s part at that value. One of Moynihan’s sources predicts Bezos will be courted late in the process given his significant advantage in terms of total wealth.
  • Speculation has persisted in terms of when a final decision will be made with respect to a sale being green-lighted, and then finalized. On that point, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer notes that a deal will ideally be in place by the time the NFL’s owners’ meetings take place in late March (video link). That would allow the other owners to vote on and ratify a sale, as they did in the case of the Broncos last offseason, and presumably bring an end to the saga hanging over the Commanders.
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