Report: Absent league’s desire to dump Dan Snyder, Josh Harris bid wouldn’t be approved

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Josh Harris apparently is in the right place at the perfect time.

With the NFL determined to move on from Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, it appears that the owners might be willing to look beyond certain defects in the Harris offer to buy the team, in order to simply get rid of Snyder.

The Washington Post shares this opinion from an unnamed person familiar with the sale process (yes, that’s rather broad and vague): “if not for the other owners’ strong desire to remove Snyder from the league, the Harris deal probably would not be approved without some revisions.”

One issue is the raw size of the proposed group of limited partners. They each have to be properly vetted by the league. That will slow things down, at a minimum.

This issue and others make it unlikely that the deal will ready for approval when owners meet later this month.

Although Commanders fans currently are euphoric at the prospect of Snyder’s permanent exit, they should want a new owner with the appropriate financial wherewithal to run the team successfully. It’s far better, frankly, to have a new owner who passes the approval process with flying colors than to see the team sold to someone for whom exceptions need to be made.

Those exceptions could, quite frankly, contribute to keeping the team in the unexceptional category.

34 responses to “Report: Absent league’s desire to dump Dan Snyder, Josh Harris bid wouldn’t be approved

  1. Make an exception once and you have to make one again. If the group doesn’t qualify it doesn’t qualify no matter how awful the current owner.

  2. The league has dealt with Snyder for 24 years. If the Harris group is SUCH an issue, then reject the sale and demand another buyer/buyers. One more year of Snyder wont kill anyone after ALL of this time. Better one more year of Snyder than 20+ more years of ANOTHER headache.

  3. They’re going to have to make exceptions all of the time in a little bit because less and less people will be able to afford 30% of a team. It’s a nothing burger. Antiquated rules from when teams cost $200,000 probably need to be revisited as the league becomes a trillion dollar business.

  4. Oh boy. I want Danny out as much as the next guy but be careful what you wish for. I hope fans of the team won’t be thrown from the pan to the fire with this guy.

    Then again, which individuals can afford $6B? Oil peninsula princes? Caucasus arms dealers? The Saklers?

  5. Jeff Bezos would be a dream owner. Unlimited financial resources and way too much else on his plate to be obsessing about an NFL team.

  6. “It’s very important that we vet these potential owners!”

    — the same people who vetted *and approved* Dan Snyder

  7. Actually, you CAN make an exception just once. It can be, what’s called, a one time exception.

    Rich people can generate money easily, money is almost imaginary at the NFL owner level.

  8. Not surprising. Rich guys making the rules for their exclusive club. Snyder as an embarrassment. Get rid of him as fast as you can.

  9. The issues seem to revolve around the NFL’s own arcane requirements for the principle owner — that he has to provide at least 30% of purchase price in cash (how many people keep $1.8B lying around doing nothing?) and a limit on borrowing secured against the team of $1.1b (roughly 20% of the purchase price in this case).

    With value of franchise sales more than doubling (Panthers $2.3b; Commanders $6B) in 5 years, the league, frankly, needs to rethink its ownership and financing constraints.

    The net worth of Josh Harris alone (not counting any of his billionaire partners) is estimated at $5.9b — roughly the same as that of Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Ravens, who ranks as the 12th richest (by Forbes estimated net worth) NFL owner.

    Here is the estimated value of some of his limited partners:

    Mitchell Rales $5.3b
    Santa Domingo family $11.9b
    David Blitzer $1.9b

    If NFL owners want to see the value of their franchises continue to climb, they need to address the 20th century ownership rules that were put in place for franchises worth less than $1b; otherwise, the Commanders may be a demonstration in the top limit in franchise value achievable based on the financial realities of how billionaires utilize their assets.

  10. Shouldn’t rush into any deal to get rid of a bad owner. Could be just as bad to end up with a guy who has to be cheap just to afford basic operations.
    Not sure if Bezos made an offer. If he did they should rush to accept it. He has more money than all the other owners combined

  11. If you take a bad deal just to get away from a bad deal, you finish with a bad deal.

  12. None of those partners matter anyhow, right? He was just using RG3 and Magic to make the bid more attractive to Dan. They were and are nothing more than trophy owners. Dan also knew by accepting an offer involving RG3, he would once again be able to stick it to the fans yet once again.

  13. The Josh Harris ownership group is flush with cash more so than the following cash poor franchise Raiders, Chargers, Cardinals, Bengals, Bears. Here are the commanders owners/investors wealth. Josh Harris $6B, Eric Schmidt $19.6B, Mitchell Rales $5.3B, David Blitzer $1.9B, Alejandro Santa Domingo $11.9B, Mitchell Morgan $5M, Magic Johnson $620M. Each person has a unique skill set that they bring to the group. JH DB & Magic are sports entrepreneurs that have ownership in NBA, NHL, MLB teams. ES is an angel investor in high tech MM is one of DCs biggest property developers ASD is chairman & heir to the Anheuser Busch corporation. They have the cash to pay the best players, free agents coaches. The expertise to develop not only a cutting edge new stadium & training facility but mix use retail/office/residential campus next to stadium/training facility. One of the owners is the major corporate sponsor to the NFL. At the end of the day NFL owners will unanimously approve thie Harris Group

  14. I would love it if they rejected the sale, forced Snyder to keep the team lol. Just keep that franchise in perpetual chaos for years while one unsuitable buyer after another make lower and lower bids.

  15. They can’t be any worse than what Vikings fans have experienced in 20 years of incompetence from Zygi and Mark Wilf. By the way the stadium that houses zero championships needs millions more in upgrades.

  16. It seems Snyder has put himself in a Deshaun Watson-esque situation. He’s managed to get 30%/$1.4B more than the Broncos did through weak bids that would normally not pass muster. He’s breaking the curve for a team that’s likely not worth that much.

    This could open the door to foreign owners like the Saudi Wealth Fund in the future if no one else is willing to pay $6B+.

  17. The current owners are such pillars of society and set such a high moral bar that it must be difficult to get their approval.

  18. For those saying be careful what you wish for, Washington fans should be praying for this guy to take over. He has a professional team already. He’s not an unknown commodity. Since he took over with the 76ers, they’ve been contenders every year. Be glad clowns like Tilman Fertitta bowed out and the loose cannon Canadian guy didn’t get the team. That’s the kind of questionable ownership move that would be worrisome. Just having professional ownership that you don’t have to wake up and worry about what is going on is half the battle, and at least half the teams in the league don’t have that.

  19. Has anybody calculated just what effect the sale will have on he price of tickets? Mr. Harris’ group is paying about 5 times the amount paid by Dan Snyder so there is likely to be some increase.

  20. Be careful for what you wish for. Dan was a very passionate owner and fought to save the team name. Some of the teams they had were very good, they just didn’t execute.

  21. So in other words the NFL must now revisit and address these archaic rules. Now that teams value has skyrocketed plenty of current owners would need the same exception to keep their current team.

  22. Is it possible that the league is solely putting out this story to humiliate Snyder?

  23. In 1932 the Redskins franchise cost was 1,500,,, yes fifteen hundred dollars to join the NFL!!! In 1999 Daniel Snyder paid a price tag of 800 million..Forbes estimated our value at 1.5 billion and now the Washington commanders selling price is 6 BILLION plus!!!

  24. I don’t know how much of this I’d buy until it comes from another source as well.

    The Washington Post seems pretty committed to printing whatever Bezos wants to see and fits whatever narrative he’s interested in pushing.

  25. Josh Harris turned the Sixers into contenders? The sixers have lost in the second round of the playoffs for 3 consecutive years. That is not the definition of a team that is in “contention” for anything. He hired his head coach before hiring his GM. Hired the worst coach possible and is stuck with old Doc Rivers for another two years. I doubt he is smart enough for fire Doc Rivers.

    As a Celtic Fan I think that is terrific. The sixers have not beaten the Celtic in a Playoff series since 1985. With old Doc Rivers there another two years it won’t be happening in the future. Picture that Sixer fans. 30 years since the last playoff series win versus the Celtics.

    Tell me again how smart Josh Harris is?

  26. No issues, zero issues, with the Harris Team, although I do not like what their results with the Sixers. At least the Sixers are “in contention”. Rivers is gone. Harden is as good as gone. I also don’t see a problem that others see in the ownership over Snyder. Although I will say this…
    “If the league did not approve the sale and forced Snyder out and, thusly, forcing him to take an offer that is far lower – meaning fewer billions for the Snyders, would that be such a bad thing?”

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