Colts’ Jim Irsay, Cowboys’ Jerry Jones Address Commanders Sale

One of the key topics of conversation during the first day of the current league meetings was the sale of the Commanders. Despite the fact that a deal is in place for Josh Harris to replace Dan Snyder as owner, ratification from the league may not come for some time.

Harris and Snyder entered into a signed, exclusive agreement earlier this month. As a result of that deal, the franchise is on track to sell for a record-breaking $6.05 billion, though issues have arisen given the structure of the agreement. Specifically, the Harris group’s ability to stay under the league’s $1.1 billion debt limit to finance the purchase is a hurdle which has yet to be cleared.

As a result, no timeline is currently in place for the league’s finance committee to produce a recommended course of action, and, subsequently, for owners to vote on the sale. At least 24 owners would need to approve the deal, something which has long been considered a formality due in large part to the widespread desire to have Snyder’s tenure at the helm of the Commanders come to a conclusive end. Whether or not this process will be completed before the fall remains an open question, though.

When speaking on that point, Colts owner Jim Irsay said, via The Athletic’s Ben Standig, “we’d like to see it get done. But, we’re not there yet” (subscription required). Irsay added that “probably several more weeks of discussions” will be necessary to finalize the transfer of ownership to Harris, who has a controlling stake in the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and English Premier League club Crystal Palace.

Adding to the optimism that this deal will cross the finish line, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “I would anticipate it being done. These are outstandingly qualified owners” (video link via Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports). Jones added that he does not foresee the agreement’s structure – which includes support from numerous investors, including NBA legend Magic Johnson – as being enough of an issue to prevent an ultimate approval.

“To have a new ownership group in there before the season opener, that would be a goal,” Irsay said. “It’s not an impossibility. There would be a special meeting after July 4 for something like that to happen. I know that the commissioner will continue to look and see what our schedule is going to be. But there’s work to be done.”

As the sale of the Broncos last offseason showed, a gap in time can exist between a winning bid emerging and final ratification taking place. Plenty of time remains for that to happen in this case, and the league will likely work with increased urgency to allow for Harris to be installed as owner in time for the regular season as the summer moves along.

“There are different layers of league policy that exist beyond just that acquisition and that sort of thing,” Irsay added. “So it’s just trying to make sure deals comply with that… In the end, we’re hopeful that we can work towards getting a deal done.”

View Comments (7)