The Josh Harris-led group seeking to buy the Washington Commanders forwarded a proposed $6.05 billion purchase of the team to the NFL that includes language to partly indemnify outgoing owner Dan Snyder for future litigation stemming from the many pending investigations into his tenure, according to a person close to Harris.
The provision would partially protect Snyder from legal liability based on the outcomes of the probes.
Sportico first reported the bid had been forwarded to the NFL. The move is quite unusual as sales agreements typically only get sent to the league by the selling team once an agreement is signed.
What to know about where things stand
The person close to Harris said there are some issues that need approval from the league, like indemnification, before the contract can be signed and that is why it was forwarded to the NFL.
- The indemnification provision would be between Harris and Snyder, not the league. Snyder has been seeking that cover from both the buyer and the league.
- Why the Harris group needs the league’s approval is unclear, but it’s been widely reported Snyder has not been communicating with the league.
- The developments emerge as the league awaits the Mary Jo White report on investigations into whether Snyder harassed a female employee, and if the team hid revenue from the other 31 clubs.
Dan Snyder is selling the Commanders, but investigations continue. Here is where each stands
Despite all this, the Harris offer is still not exclusive, with a rival group led by Canadian businessman Steve Apostolopoulos still hovering in the background. It’s unclear if his bid has the proper financing. Harris’ bid is buttressed by a partnership with local billionaire Mitchell Rales, each of whom has a higher reported net worth than the Canadian.
Snyder bought the team and FedEx Field in 1999, launching a tenure some consider the worst ownership in professional sports, beset by shoddy play on the field and scandal off of it. The league fined the team $10 million in July 2021 and temporarily banned Snyder from the club following findings of a toxic culture at the team, including rampant sexual harassment.
Snyder also had a vitriolic legal battle with his former partners, whom the team owner accused of dirty tricks, including charging they had planted false stories linking him to sex trafficking. That dispute ended with Snyder buying their 40 percent stake out for $875 million.
The federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia is also probing bank fraud at the team, while the attorney general of Washington, D.C., is suing the team — and the NFL — for obscuring the sexual harassment at the club.
In November, weeks after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke out against Snyder, suggesting removal was an option, the Commanders put out a statement that the club had hired an investment bank to consider strategic options. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos instantly was considered the front-runner,…
Read More: Commanders sale agreement sent to NFL includes indemnity provision for Snyder: 2023-04-18 18:45:12