As many times as it’s been said in this situation, the end seems to be drawing nigh in the sale of the Commanders from Dan Snyder to Josh Harris. The newest breakdown, provided by Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post, details the plans of the NFL finance committee and provides an update on the progress of an indemnification agreement for Snyder.
Harris and Snyder agreed to an exclusive deal that would transfer ownership to a Harris-led group for $6.05 billion. The deal faced some hurdles, though, as the increasingly expensive price tag for NFL franchises has made it difficult for buying groups to complete purchases under the finance committee’s existing debt rules. Issues ranged from the amount of debt being taken on by Harris personally to the international source of some of his contributing investments to a reported “earnout” incentive designed to pay Snyder “an amount contingent on the franchise reaching specified financial benchmarks.”
According to Maske and Jhabvala, Harris “has given assurances that he will make the necessary adjustments…to secure the approval of the league’s franchise owners.” Harris is scheduled to have an in-person meeting with the eight-owner finance committee in New York this coming Wednesday, in which he will propose his solutions to the committee’s previous concerns and allow for further questions.
Additionally, in an effort to accelerate the progress of the deal, the finance committee has plans “to meet remotely several times in the coming weeks.” Assuming the two sides leave New York with a mutual understanding, there is hope that a vote to ratify the sale could potentially happen as soon as late-June or early-July. How soon that vote can occur also depends on whether the NFL would allow a vote to be taken remotely or if they would insist on an in-person meeting. Regardless, a possible owners’ meeting, special to this purpose, has been mentioned with a proposed date in August, as the next scheduled meeting isn’t until October.
Another hurdle the league has to overcome before the sale can be ratified is the remaining issues with Snyder as he reportedly seeks indemnification against legal and financial liability as a part of the sale. He has also supposedly beseeched the NFL to withhold the findings of their second investigation into Snyder and the Commanders being carried out by attorney Mary Jo White, although Washington denies both claims.
Regardless, Maske and Jhabvala report that a resolution of this situation was “95 percent done” as of last week. It’s unknown whether or not Harris’s group will indemnify Snyder or to what degree, but it’s common knowledge that the league’s owners have no desire to indemnify him. In fact, they want Snyder to indemnify them, a practice commonly found in previous sales.
Either way, the finish-line looms on the horizon. If the resolutions of both major impediments truly are close at hand, we may see the end of this ordeal in the weeks leading up to the 2023 NFL season. Many of the contributing sources were quick to cover themselves by adding a colloquial “it’s not over until the fat lady sings,” but it is seeming more and more that the end is in sight.