Snyders hire Bank of America Securities to explore Commanders sale

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Commanders co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder announced that they have hired Bank of America Securities to explore potential transactions involving the team.

A statement from the team did not specify what those transactions might be, whether it was the sale of the team or they were pursuing minority investors.

A Commanders spokesperson said the team was exploring all options.

"The Snyders remain committed to the team, all of its employees and its countless fans to putting the best product on the field and continuing the work to set the gold standard for workplaces in the NFL," the team said in the statement.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday that, "any potential transaction would have to be presented to the NFL Finance Committee for review and require an affirmative vote by three quarters of the full membership (24 of 32 teams)."

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent over 40 former employees of the Washington franchise, welcomed Wednesday's news.

"Today's news that Dan and Tanya Snyder are exploring selling the Washington Commanders is a good development for the team, its former and current employees, and its many fans. We will have to see how this unfolds, but this could obviously be a big step towards healing and closure for the many brave women and men who came forward," they said in a statement.

Congress continues to investigate Dan Snyder for the workplace culture created during his ownership. The NFL, led by attorney Mary Jo White, also is investigating Snyder for a second time, stemming from an allegation of sexual misconduct. The first investigation resulted in a $10 million fine of the organization.

There also are investigations by the attorneys general in Virginia and Washington, D.C., regarding financial improprieties by the organization, which the team has denied.

Two weeks ago the Commanders released a statement saying Snyder would never sell the franchise, in response to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay saying at the NFL's fall meeting in New York that there was merit to consider whether they should vote him out as owner.

The league requires 24 of 32 owners to approve such a vote, which never has been done at the NFL level.

At Washington's home game vs. the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 23, some fans started to boo when Tanya Snyder briefly appeared on the video board during a PSA for breast cancer and started chanting, "Sell the team!"

Washington coach Ron Rivera, also dealing with the death of his mother this week, said "I don't know what that's all about. But I do know we play the Vikings come Sunday and that's kind of where I'm gonna stay as far as that's concerned because that's an ownership and front office question."

Players say they try to block out any stories that do not involve football.

"We all see it on our phones and it's out there, but guys aren't ... talking about it at lunch," Washington receiver Terry McLaurin said. "We all know things are going on outside of [football] but we try to put our focus elsewhere."

"We don't pay attention to the outside noise because we have so much stuff to do inside the facility to win games," defensive end Chase Young said. "We got the blinders on. That's how we're rocking it."

Snyder had informed key members of his leadership about the news more than a day before it was announced. One team source said there was a "weird energy" among Commanders' workers today, uncertain about where this is headed.

Washington also is trying to land funds to build a new stadium, but has failed to do so in both Maryland and Virginia. The Commanders wanted to return to the District of Columbia and the site of their former home, RFK Stadium. But that site is federally owned and would have to be handed over to the district.

Even if the federal government gave the city that land, there has been opposition from the D.C. City Council to dealing with Snyder. But if he's gone, it could improve the team's chances of returning to the city.

Virginia tabled a vote in the spring as to whether or not it should provide funding for a stadium in the state, with numerous lawmakers pointing to the investigations as among the reasons for waiting.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the fall meeting that he had "little to no discussion" with ownership about the Dan Snyder issue, in large part because White's investigation is not complete. One source said Snyder has yet to meet with White and that the league has not shared anything about her investigation with them.

McCarthy on Tuesday said that White's investigation remains ongoing and there's no update on a timeline for its completion.

A recent ESPN investigation detailed the matter, and how Snyder has told associates he's used private investigators and other sources to gather dirt on fellow owners, coaches and executives.

Snyder sent a letter to fellow NFL owners addressing the ESPN investigation and denying he ever used private investigators on owners or Goodell.

According to the ESPN investigation, because Snyder has been unable to muster government resources for a new stadium, owners are considering a financial maneuver to remove him as owner. There are rules about how much debt an owner can carry, and because owners already granted Snyder a waiver to take on debt to buy out his minority owners last year, some owners think they may be able to force Snyder to sell or transfer permanent ownership to his wife by refusing to grant him another waiver for a stadium.

Snyder has owned the team since 1999, when he paid $800 million. He gained full control of the franchise late in 2020 when he bought out his three minority investors. The franchise is now worth $5.6 billion, according to Forbes. The Denver Broncos were sold in August for $4.65 billion.

ESPN's Adam Schefter contributed to this report.