From the moment Commanders owner Daniel Snyder announced in November 2022 that he was exploring the possibility of selling the team, speculation emerged in league circles that the ongoing investigation being conducted by Mary Jo White would never see the light of day.
In a press conference held in connection with the league meetings in Arizona, Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that White’s report will be made public.
“We committed to releasing those findings, we will,” Goodell said.
Goodell also was asked whether a compelling reason currently exists to release the report, given that a sale seems to be close to happening.
“Well, we made that commitment back last February,” Goodell said. “We made that commitment. I think we made it in front of Congress, we made it to our clubs. So, we’ll continue with that. . . .
“We’ve been very clear. The Commanders were very clear that the findings would be made public. So, we’re going to continue on that course.”
So, here’s what will possibly happen. If/when Snyder sells, the report will reach one set of conclusions. If/when Snyder changes his mind and decides he’s not leaving, the report will reach a different set of conclusions.
I know, I know. Mary Jo White is “independent.” Mary Jo White would never stake her hard-earned reputation on massaging her findings to fit the league’s expectations.
Fine. Good. Swell. But Mary Jo White keeps getting assignments from the NFL because they like her work. She gives them what they want. When they want it. And she’s smart enough to know what they want and when the want it.
The mere fact that it’s been nearly 14 months since she began her investigation says it all. The White report has become both carrot and stick. Sell the team, and Mary Jo White concludes that all is well. Keep the team, and White drops the hammer. For now, she holds her findings while the sale process plays out.
I know that’s not the way it should be. So what? That’s the way it is. And that’s the way it’s likely going. If Snyder goes away, the report goes one way. If Snyder stays, it goes another.
Period. End of statement. Full stop.