When Commanders owner Daniel Snyder surrendered day-to-day control over the team, much was said about whether he did it voluntarily, and whether he’d be able to return without the express approval of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Nearly nine months later, Goodell claims that Snyder remains disconnected from day-to-day franchise operations. Goodell also suggested that he’ll have a voice in whether and when Snyder returns.
“Dan Snyder has not been involved in day-to-day operations,” Goodell told reporters on Tuesday, via Charean Williams of PFT. “Don’t believe he’s been in the facility at all, and when we continue to have league matters, Tanya has represented the team as the CEO both on a day-to-day basis, but also here and that will continue for at least the foreseeable future, but Dan and I will talk about that at some point.”
The fact that Roger and Dan will “talk at some point” strongly suggests that Dan won’t return whenever he feels like it. In early July, Snyder’s lawyer, Jordan Siev, insisted that a report from the Washington Post indicating that Snyder needs Goodell’s approval to return is “false.”
While Goodell’s use of the term “day-to-day operations” could be subject to interpretation, Snyder has been present for games. He attended the unveiling of the team’s new name. During the 2021 season, coach Ron Rivera said he speaks with Snyder multiple times per week.
Snyder’s suspension (or whatever it is) has become complicated by a new investigation arising from allegations made directly against him by a former employee. Given that attorney Beth Wilkinson, who handled the prior investigation into the team’s long-term toxic workplace culture, would have recommended removing Snyder if the league had actually asked her to reduce her recommendations to writing, there’s a chance that Snyder’s grip on the team is currently tenuous, at best.
The league surely realizes that he’d fight zealously any effort to force him to sell. The best compromise could be for Snyder to transfer the team to his wife, Tanya, with the understanding that, eventually, his children would take over. Unless the apples fell in the next orchard over, however, that development probably wouldn’t be met with sighs of relief from fans of the team.