It’s not done yet, but it’s getting there.
The paperwork signed Friday by current Commanders owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder and prospective owner Josh Harris converts the existing non-exclusive deal to an exclusive one, according to the Washington Post. The deal will become official upon approval of at least 24 of 32 NFL owners.
The Post explains that the exclusivity will last for a specific window of unknown duration. Per the report, the deal also requires the Harris group to pay a “breakup fee” if the deal is not approved before a certain date.
Prior reports have indicated that there are issues with the Harris bid. Given, however, the apparent willingness of the NFL to move on from Snyder, owners could be motivated to find a way to iron out any wrinkles.
“We look forward to the formal approval of our ownership by the NFL in the months ahead and to having the honor to serve as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise moving forward,” Harris said in a statement, per the Post. “On behalf of our entire ownership group. . . . I want to express how excited we are to be considered by the NFL to be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to delivering a championship-caliber franchise for this city and its fan base. Growing up in Chevy Chase, I experienced firsthand the excitement around the team, including its three Super Bowl victories and long-term winning culture.”
Commanders fans surely will hope that the only thing Snyder and Harris have in common is that they grew up rooting for the team.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Commanders franchise with Josh Harris, an area native, and his impressive group of partners,” the Snyders said in a statement, per the Post. “We look forward to the prompt completion of this transaction and to rooting for Josh and the team in the coming years.”
Snyder bought the franchise 24 years ago. It became under his stewardship one of the most dysfunctional organizations in all of pro sports. In recent months, the situation has improved. But Snyder’s ongoing presence had become a ball and chain that the franchise simply could not escape.
Once the current deal is approved, the Commanders finally will move forward without Snyder.