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A primer from NFL owners’ meetings on a possible Commanders sale

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A primer from NFL owners’ meetings on potential Commanders sale originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

DALLAS — While the Commanders surged into the playoff race throughout the second half of the NFL season, the team’s future operations remain firmly in limbo.

As NFL owners from across the country gather this week in Dallas for business meetings, amongst the most important lingering league issues is the Washington ownership situation under Daniel Snyder. Last week the House Oversight Committee issued its final report from an investigation into the team and concluded that Snyder had operated his organization through abusive and harassing means while using private investigators to intimidate whistle-blowers.

While there’s little clarity about what’s going to occur next there may be some information available. That starts with understanding the sale process, which the league doesn’t run.

The team is working with Bank of America brokers to seek out potential buyers and work through scenarios. The one formal role for the NFL comes when a price is agreed upon by the vendor and the customer, after which the transaction goes to a vote of other NFL owners.

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Specific to the Commanders it’s vital to indicate that while just a few scenarios seem most probably, nothing is understood. A number of the scenarios include:

– No competition – Jeff Bezos is among the many richest people on the planet and if he wants the Commanders it’s unlikely every other bidder would enter the fray. Why enter an unwinnable fight? The Amazon founder and chairman has a house in Washington, bought The Washington Post almost a decade ago and is constructing an East Coast campus for his company in Arlington. Loads of signs point to Bezos because the eventual owner of the Commanders, but there are questions too.

Do other NFL owners need to let Bezos into their club, knowing he has more wealth than a lot of them combined? There’s also the Amazon television rights for Thursday Night Football. That’s a lucrative deal for all the opposite owners, and could possibly be a growing revenue stream in years to return. Lawyers could probably work out some workaround here, but it surely can be cumbersome and result in a number of questions.

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Also take into consideration this – what higher solution to drive up prices than the looming threat of Bezos buying a team? That could be the NFL’s best solution to push already sky high franchise prices even higher. Consider this too – the NFL believes states and municipalities should help its clubs construct latest stadiums. There’s a wide selection of evidence to support this theory, and the league has a loan program for teams to construct latest stadiums so long as its taxpayer supported.

– Numerous competition – Assuming Bezos isn’t within the hunt for the team there might be loads of competition. NFL franchises have immense value and there are many billionaires that need to tap into the powerful D.C. market. Plus, if a latest owner had the liquidity and political clout to get a latest stadium deal done within the District, the long run of the Washington franchise could possibly be an absolute money cow.

Two names to look at are billionaires with local ties in Todd Boehly and Josh Harris, but there might be loads of interested parties. Multiple sources across the league consider as many as six groups have already submitted offers for the Washington organization with the clock ticking on submissions.

– An elaborate hoax –  There’s also the nuclear option for a lot of Commanders fans: Dan Snyder has no intention to sell. It’s entirely possible, even when unlikely, that Snyder requested proposals for his team just to find out that no offer was ok and he’ll proceed to own the club. That might force league motion if the opposite owners are truly determined to get Snyder out of the NFL.

There’s also the thought that Snyder only wants to herald a latest limited partner, a money infusion for a latest stadium push. A latest partner would require NFL approval, which may not be easy if it’s seen as helping Snyder. Perhaps there’s a way that a latest owner buys a chunk of the Commanders now with more purchases in agreed upon increments over time, much like Steve Bisciotti’s deal to purchase the Ravens from Art Modell. Regardless, for Commanders fans waiting for Snyder’s departure, this scenario presents the least pleasing option. Regardless of the eventual final result with Washington’s ownership situation, this week in Dallas with the NFL’s power brokers multi functional place could push the whole lot closer to a conclusion.

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