Goodell doesn’t have ‘any expectations’ Commanders will be sold

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday he doesn’t have “any expectations” that the Washington Commanders will be sold, adding that the topic was not discussed among owners at the league’s meetings in Irving, Texas.

“Dan’s statement that he put out was that he was exploring that and we’ll continue to work with him on that,” Goodell told reporters.

The commissioner also weighed in on the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s final report into the Washington Commanders’ workplace misconduct scandal as Goodell defended the league’s cooperation in the probe. 

The congressional panel was critical of the league for failing to provide more than 40,000 documents from the NFL’s initial probe of the Commanders, but Goodell said the NFL “fully cooperated.”  He pointed to his own two-and-a-half hour deposition, as well as the 500,000 documents the league provided.

“We obviously know — because we have audits going on with the club, because of the discipline, because of the terrific investigation led by our independent counsel in this case — that the change has occurred in the Washington Commanders organization,” Goodell said. “That’s verified by audits. That’s the outcome we were seeking and the outcome we all wanted.

“I don’t have any further to say about it.”

Goodell said owners were informed of the committee’s findings by a league attorney during Wednesday’s meetings.

Asked about the allegations that Snyder hired private investigators to intimidate witnesses even after the franchise had started to make sweeping changes, Goodell said he would wait to see the final findings of the league’s second investigation into the Commanders that is being led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White.

“I deal with facts, not speculation,” said Goodell, who noted there is no timeline for White’s review to be completed.

The audits that Goodell referred to are the reviews being conducted by Vestry Laight, which has issued three reports so far. The July 2022 report in part found that: “Under the leadership of Coach (Ron Rivera) and his team, Football Operations has established a strong-values driven culture and created what many described as a ‘family’ with his staff.”

But the Oversight committee’s report ripped Snyder for obstructing multiple investigations into his team. The panel wrote that Snyder “permitted and participated in” the team’s “toxic work environment.”

The Commanders announced last month that the Snyders have hired an investment bank to explore a potential sale of the franchise.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that bank, Bank of America Securities, has started taking the next steps in the process by sending prospective buyers a prospectus for the franchise. Multiple reports indicate that there’s no shortage of suitors for the team and that the expectation is that it will be sold in full rather than a partial stake.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was the first owner to publicly say there was “merit” to removing Snyder from the NFL, told reporters in Texas that having Snyder sell would “certainly” be a “better solution” for the league than actually voting the embattled billionaire out — a step that the league has never taken for an owner.

“Really, in terms of the commissioner and something from the league office, there hasn’t been any updates on where things are at and are they going to be revisited again,” Irsay said. 

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