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NFL expected to approve Josh Harris’ bid to buy Washington Commanders from Daniel Snyder. What do we know?

It’s been more than half a year since Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder announced that he was exploring the sale of the franchise.

It’s been more than half a year since Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder announced that he was exploring the sale of the franchise.
Scott TaetschGetty Images

With NFL owners meeting on Thursday to vote on the sale of the franchise to billionaire Josh Harris, it’s now understood that they will in fact be ratifying the move and with that, the Commanders will finally have a new owner.

NFL set to approve Commanders sale to Josh Harris

According to reports, the NFL is set to vote in Josh Harris’ investment group as the league’s newest ownership group. Indeed, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones referred to the situation as a “great” and “hallmark” day for the league with the franchise now destined to be sold by present owner Daniel Snyder.

Regarding Harris himself, he is widely known as the owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers as well as the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. His group also consists of business partner David Blitzer, who is in fact the owner of the English Premier League’s Crystal Palace FC and MLS franchise Real Salt Lake. Joining them is also NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, venture capitalist Mark Ein, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and businessman Mitchell Rales. Rumors have also suggested that former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III who previously criticized the franchise will acquire a stake as well.

The Process of Commanders sale

You may recall that it was back in April when reports indicated that Snyder and Harris’ group had reached an agreement in principle, with the price of the franchise set at a record $6 billion. For perspective, the previous record stood at $4.65 billion which is what the Walton-Penner group paid for the Denver Broncos in 2022. At any rate, what followed that initial agreement was an official “purchase and sale” notice in May, with the final price being set at $6.05 billion. As things stand, once Thursday’s vote goes in favor of the sale which it is expected to do, ownership of the Commanders will officially be moved from Daniel and Tanya Snyder to Harris’ group.

How did Daniel Snyder get here?

When they first purchased the franchise in 1999 from Jack Kent Cooke, it was clear that Daniel and Tanya Snyder wanted to position themselves as hands-on owners rather than just investors who were solely interested in collecting dividends. Sadly, that approach has done more bad than good ever since. Unfortunately, the Commanders’ place among the headlines has been almost entirely tied to controversy as opposed to progress on the field. In 2020 it rebranded from the previous Washington Redskins name due to public pressure in relation to its divisiveness. Then came a $10 million sanction from the league due to what was deemed a “highly unprofessional” workplace environment, and most recently we’ve seen a series of investigations both league and congressional, as a result of a number of allegations about a “toxic” workplace environment.

To be clear some of those allegations were with regards to sexual harassment and racial discrimination. This of course brings us to reports from just a week ago when a connection between the Jon Gruden email scandal and Snyder was made. Indeed, there were even reports that the correlation between the two could hinder the ratification of the sale itself. Ultimately, it now seems that the sale will go forward, and with that it just may be that the franchise can finally focus on what matters most, the team.