Daniel Snyder has owned the professional football team in Washington, D.C., for nearly a quarter-century. He purchased the then-Redskins in 1999 for $800 million, which was a record at the time. Since then, the team has largely struggled. They’ve reached the playoffs six times, winning a mere two postseason games and never advancing past the divisional round.
The franchise has been involved in several controversies off the field. The team’s name was regularly protested due to its offensive nature toward Native Americans, and Washington only switched its name to the Commanders because investors urged league sponsors to cut their times with the team if the name didn’t change. Snyder has also been accused of underreporting ticket sales and cutting down old growth trees so he could better see the Potomac River. And several Washington Post articles reported that more than 40 former female employees had been sexually harassed by Snyder and other male employees.
Through it all, Snyder said he’d never sell his beloved football franchise. But amidst all that internal turmoil, external pressures, and a record offer, Snyder is changing his tune.
He agreed to sell the team to an ownership group led by Joshua Harris, who currently owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. He’s also a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harris is joined by another billionaire, Mitchell Rales, and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
That deal is worth a whopping $6.05 billion, which would shatter the previous highest sale in NFL history. Last year, an ownership group led by Walmart heir Sam Walton, his daughter Carrier Walton-Penner, and her husband Greg Penner purchased the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion. That group also counts former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton among its owners.
No one has officially signed or finalized anything; that can’t happen until a few other things fall in line. Notably, 24 of the 32 ownership groups in the NFL have to agree to the sale. But with Snyder’s long history of controversy—plus a previous threat that he has dirt on every other owner—it’s hard to imagine the sale won’t be approved.
The agreement also marks the end of a potential bid from Jeff Bezos. He reportedly was interested in buying the team but never officially submitted an offer. It’s possible Snyder would have turned him down anyway since the two are not the best of friends.
Regardless, it seems like Snyder’s days as an owner are numbered. That’s a good thing for both the NFL and Commanders fans.