- The Washington Times
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The news Wednesday that Dan Snyder is considering “potential transactions” of the Washington Commanders was a long time coming for many who wanted to see the billionaire’s ouster from the NFL.

But the path for Snyder to go from buying an NFL team to potentially exploring a sale of that franchise has been a long and winding one, including awful on-field performance, front-office mismanagement and investigations into the organization’s workplace. 

A look at how the embattled owner got here: 

May 1999: Snyder, who made his fortune in the marketing business, purchases the Washington Redskins for a record $800 million after previous owner Jack Kent Cooke died. At just 34 years old, Snyder is the youngest person to buy an NFL team. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue calls Snyder “the perfect person” to take over the historic franchise. 

January 2000: The Redskins make the playoffs in Snyder’s first season as owner, winning the NFC East and losing in the divisional round. The team will go on to make the postseason just five more times in the next 22 years. 

July 2000: Snyder becomes the first NFL owner to charge fans admission and parking to attend training camp practices.

December 2000: Snyder fires coach Norv Turner in the middle of the season and replaces him with interim coach Terry Robiskie and later Marty Schottenheimer, who lasts only one year. The move starts the team’s never-ending coaching carousel — now up to 10 coaches, including interims, in Snyder’s 24 seasons.

February 2009: The Redskins sign defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a $100 million contract, one of the biggest of the many free-agent misfires made under Snyder. Haynesworth lasted only two seasons in Washington. 

May 2013: Snyder declares that he will not change the team’s nickname amid calls for the franchise to drop the “Redskins” moniker. “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple,” Snyder tells USA Today. “NEVER — you can use caps.” 

July 2020: Amid mounting pressure, Washington drops its “Redskins” nickname after 87 years. A new nickname isn’t chosen, and the team plays as the Washington Football Team for the next two seasons. Just a few days after the news about dropping the nickname, the Washington Post reports that 15 women say they were sexually harassed while working for the franchise. The team hires attorney Beth Wilkinson to investigate the organization’s workplace. The NFL later takes control of that investigation. 

August 2020: Another report from the Washington Post details additional accounts of workplace harassment, including accusations against Snyder, which he denies. A former cheerleader alleges that Snyder invited her to a hotel room in 2004 with one of his friends so they “could get to know each other better.” The Post also reports that executive Larry Michael put together a video that contained lewd images of the team’s cheerleaders from a 2008 swimsuit calendar shoot.

March 2021: Snyder gains full ownership control of the franchise after buying out three minority partners, who collectively owned 40.5% of the team, for $875 million. 

July 2021: The NFL fines Washington $10 million after determining the team’s workplace was “very toxic” but does not release a written report. Snyder steps away from day-to-day duties. 

October 2021: The House Committee on Oversight and Reform launches a probe into the NFL’s investigation of Washington’s workplace culture. 

February 2022: After two years as the Washington Football Team, the franchise rebrands as the “Commanders” to mixed reviews from fans. The next day, former team cheerleader Tiffani Johnston says during a roundtable held by the House Oversight Committee that she was sexually harassed by Snyder. The NFL opens another investigation, headed by Mary Jo White, into the new allegation against Snyder, which he denies. 

April 2022: The House Oversight Committee claims it found evidence of improper business practices by the franchise and communicates its findings with the Federal Trade Commission. 

June 2022: Amid the scandals swirling around Snyder, the Virginia General Assembly tables legislation that would have determined the amount of money contributed towards a new stadium for the team in the Commonwealth. 

July 2022: After months of back and forth, Snyder appears virtually before the House Oversight Committee and testifies for more than 10 hours. 

October 2022: ESPN publishes a story that reveals Snyder’s behind-the-scenes actions to hold onto the franchise, including hiring private investigators and saying he has “dirt” on fellow owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Colts owner Jim Irsay then tells reporters at the NFL owners meeting that he believes there is “merit” to remove Snyder. At the Commanders’ next home game, Snyder’s wife, Tanya, is booed by fans when she is shown on the video board, causing “sell the team” chants. 

November 2022: The Commanders release a statement that Snyder, 57, has hired Bank of America Securities to “consider potential transactions” of the franchise. It is unclear whether Snyder is exploring selling the entire team or just a minority stake. Forbes lists the Commanders as the sixth-most valuable NFL franchise at $5.6 billion. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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