Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder is slowly being inched to the curb. But, it's going to take much more to do it.
A report of Washington underpaying NFL visiting teams the standard 40 percent of ticket sales brought speculation fellow owners will finally tire of Snyder's controversies and vote him out. Comparatively, sanctions over sexual harassment of female team workers was only enough to merit a $10 million team fine and send Snyder to the sidelines of daily operations. He's still on double secret probation, with Snyder around the team while his wife, Tanya Snyder, is the official boss.
Still, money speaks and NFL owners won't tolerate stealing by understating revenues, if reported allegations before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Reform are true. It's easy to believe an organization whose credibility is rock bottom indeed skimmed the till. But, nothing has been proven. Even if true, lawyers will certainly claim accounting errors, the team will settle up and the NFL will go back to business.
It's just not enough to force Snyder out of the league.
But, money is what will move Snyder if a national boycott comes from major sponsors like Anheuser-Busch, FedEx and Pepsi. Not just with the Commanders, because fellow owners would consider that a Washington problem. No, big advertisers have to target the NFL to get 31 other owners' attention. And, that's not looking likely.
Politicians both federal and state can make Snyder's life miserable, though. The RFK site, by far the best for a new 2027 stadium, is a long shot. It's controlled by the National Park Service and there's no way a federal agency will provide Snyder land given the House investigation. Remember, the feds forced the team to sign Black players in 1962 or ban the Redskins from the stadium because the government controls the site.
Maryland and Virginia are now narrowing their bids with Landover versus Sterling the likely showdown. Virginia finally realized it was bidding against itself with a $1 billion incentive and reduced it to $350 million, which is roughly equal to Maryland's offer to turn Landover into Snyderville.
While Snyder is starting to see a tight timetable if wanting to open a new stadium in 2027, politicians are under no such pressure. And, they should pause while awaiting Snyder's fate so they better know who owns the team should the NFL make a move. The problem is Snyder won't go quietly and everything could end up in court for years.
It's all messy and won't be simply resolved. While former quarterback Alex Smith claimed constant controversies surrounding the team impacted the win-loss record, players are mostly tone deaf to off-field drama while fans are just numb. The team lost because it stinks.
It's a long road to any watershed moment for this franchise. But, it may suddenly be behind the next curve.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.