Actions

New group submits $6 billion bid to buy the Washington Commanders from Daniel Snyder

Posted at 1:55 PM, Mar 28, 2023

PHOENIX (AP) — A group led by Josh Harris and Mitchell Rales has submitted a fully financed bid for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because details of the bid have not been publicly announced.

The Harris/Rales group, which includes basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, is one of multiple suitors interested in purchasing the Commanders. Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos also have been in the running.

ESPN reported the Harris/Rales group submitted the bid at owner Daniel Snyder’s $6 billion asking price. Snyder had yet to accept an offer when the league's finance committee met Monday so his future wasn't openly discussed.

“The information is very little to none in terms of the 31 of us (owners), and probably even the league office right now,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said.

That quickly changed in less than 24 hours.

Harris, who owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, brought on Rales, a billionaire who also grew up in Maryland, just outside Washington, earlier this year. Johnson, who has ownership experience with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and others, later joined the group.

Three-quarters of the owners would need to approve the sale. A vote could take place at the league meetings in May in Minnesota.

Last fall, with multiple investigations ongoing into the team’s workplace culture and finances, Snyder and his wife Tanya hired a firm to explore selling part or all of the team. That decision came two weeks after Irsay said there was “merit to remove” Snyder, which would take an unprecedented vote of 24 of the other 31 owners.

Selling the team would avoid going down that road, though Snyder has angered some of his colleagues by demanded that owners and the league indemnify him against future legal liability and costs if he sells the team, a person told the AP.

“There would be no reason for us to give any sort of unusual indemnification,” Irsay said.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Snyder’s situation has changed their relationship.

“I think that it’s a little more formal, but I think it’s that way because of the various issues that are involved here,” Jones said. “It’s not ‘lovey-dovey,’ but it’s not really strained in any way.”

Snyder and the team are still under investigation by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, who was retained by the league to look into various aspects of the organization stemming from a congressional review into workplace misconduct that also included a referral to the Federal Trade Commission for potential business improprieties.

A spokesperson declined to comment when asked if Snyder had refused to speak with White, saying it’s a confidential matter between the club and the league.

The sale allows Snyder to avoid speaking to White, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell previously said the findings of White's report will be made public at the conclusion of her investigation. One person said the report will still be released even if Snyder sells the Commanders.

___

Whyno reported from Washington.

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews

CBS6-News-at-4pm-and-Jennifer-Hudson-480x360.jpg

Entertainment

Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.