Washington's iconic 'Hogs' distance themselves from Commanders, Dan Snyder and hint at legal action

Ex-Washington players named in statement include Joe Jacoby, Mark May, Fred Dean and Rick 'Doc' Walker; John Riggins also part of group

Another week, another off-the-field issue for Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder.

This time it comes from one of the most iconic groups in team history. Five members of the famed "Hogs" blocking unit, which was primarily offensive linemen but also included a pair of tight ends, issued a statement Monday distancing themselves from Snyder and the Commanders and hinting at legal action over the use of their nickname by "taking that trademark and associated goodwill and brand equity" without financial compensation.

Offensive linemen Joe Jacoby, Mark May, Fred Dean and Rick "Doc" Walker, as well as Hall of Fame fullback John Riggins, were named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. That group also formed O-Line Entertainment LLC and filed for a trademark of the nickname "Hogs" this past summer.

"Without substantial control and compensation, the original HOGS do not want to be associated with the Commanders under its current ownership and management and require that their legacy and brand is protected," a statement released by the group read.

While this is not an official lawsuit, lead attorney Seth Berenzweig told NBC4's Heather McDonough that the group could file a Federal Trademark infringement lawsuit against the Commanders if the two sides cannot come to an agreement over the use of the "Hogs" name after they expect their trademark to be issued in 2023.

The Hogs were named by former offensive line coach Joe Bugel in 1982 for their ability to control the line of scrimmage during Washington's run of Super Bowl wins in the 1980s and early 1990s. Washington won three Super Bowls from 1982-1991 under head coach Joe Gibbs. While the nickname was originally given just to the offensive linemen and tight ends, Riggins was eventually named an honorary member of the group.

Other members of the group include Jeff Bostic, Ray Brown, Jim Lachey, Raleigh McKenzie, Ed Simmons, George Starke, Don Warren, Mark Schlereth and Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, who also coached offensive lines in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Schlereth went on to win two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos as well.

Snyder's continued legal problems

Snyder, who bought the team in 1999, has been under constant legal duress for the past few years.

A Washington Post article in 2020 ignited an NFL and federal investigation into workplace misconduct at Snyder's organization. There have also been allegations of fraud from the Federal Trade Commission.

Snyder and the Commanders were also sued by the attorney general of Maryland and the District of Columbia for various alleged infractions. Snyder settled with the Maryland attorney general over allegations of withholding season-ticket deposits. The D.C. attorney general also sued Snyder for allegedly withholding deposits as well as for allegedly colluding to deceive fans about the team's workplace and sexual misconduct issues.

Now, Snyder is facing a new lawsuit revolving around the use of legendary moments in his team's history.

The team responded, via a statement, to the lawsuit on Monday, saying:

"We are planning a celebration of the greatest offensive line ever to play the game. The HOGS are a key part of our franchise's history and we want to keep their legacy alive with the next generation of fans. We have been working with the Hogs on this event for six months and look forward to welcoming them back and Coach Gibbs back."

Washington's "Hogs" were iconic in the team's Super Bowl success in the 1980s and '90s. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)