What a crazy week it has been regarding the potential sale of the Washington Commanders.
A Washington Post report on Monday stated that Washington owner Daniel Snyder demanded that other NFL owners and the league indemnify him from future legal liabilities and costs if he sells the team. As expected, the other owners were furious and opened the possibility that they’d vote to remove him from ownership if he doesn’t sell.
The big news item of the week came Tuesday when investigative reporter Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN dropped the bombshell report centering around Snyder acquiring a $55 million loan from Bank of America without the knowledge of his three minority owners at the time, leading to the three eventually selling their 40% stake to Snyder.
There was much more included in Van Natta’s report, which sent shockwaves around the NFL.
Oh, and there’s also the back-and-forth that Amazon founder — and owner of The Washington Post — Jeff Bezos is not allowed to bid on the Commanders or that he still remains in the mix.
Are you confused yet?
On Friday evening, A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports published his latest regarding the sale of the Commanders, saying it was at a standstill. Perez has been all over this story from the beginning.
Sources told Front Office Sports that there are multiple factors as to why the process that just a week ago seemed to be coming to a crescendo has stalled. One source laid out the biggest: Jeff Bezos.
While Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta have placed bids on the Commanders, Bezos remains on the outside looking in. However, that could change at any time. Perez noted that if the owners vote to remove Snyder, that would be a game-changer.
Bezos is the potential owner many would want due to his vast wealth. In addition, Snyder taking a lesser bid to spite Bezos would infuriate other owners as it impacts the value of their teams.
Then there are Washington’s financial woes, which were highlighted in Van Natta’s report. The NFLPA survey was another black eye for the organization as it highlighted the franchise’s problems, many of which were financial, such as the facilities and travel.
Perez touched on those woes as a potential problem.
The financials for the Commanders that have been reviewed by those interested in acquiring the team paint a fairly bleak picture. The Commanders — which were among the most profitable franchises in the NFL when Snyder purchased the team in 1999 — are at or near the bottom in multiple categories from ticket to merchandise revenue.
Bezos would obviously be in the best position to face some of these issues.
The NFL had hoped to have Washington’s ownership situation resolved by the owner’s meetings, which begin on March 26, but that doesn’t look possible for now.
However, as we’ve learned, things can change quickly. You hear multiple reports, and all probably have truth to them when initially reported, but the nature of this potential transaction is complicated.