Any time a professional sports team is up for sale, the process generates a ton of media buzz. After all, these franchises sell for billions of US dollars as the richest of the rich add a shiny new toy to their collection. Furthermore, fans of struggling teams usually rejoice with the influx of cash and excitement, like Mets fans did when Steve Cohen purchased the club.
From NFL Blue Blood to Laughing Stock
In the tenure of owner Daniel Snyder, the Washington football franchise underwent more than just a controversial name change. For decades, Washington was one of the more well-respected franchises, winning Super Bowl championships in 1982, 1987 and 1991.
Snyder purchased the team in 1999 for $800 million and saw the club transform into one of the worst-run franchises in the NFL, as mediocrity on the field combined with frequent off the field issues created a cloud of misery around Fed-Ex Field in Landover Maryland.
On the Field Struggles
As an owner, Daniel Snyder"s Washington teams compiled a putrid record of 164-220-2 and frequented the basement of the NFC East. Furthermore, the team only made the Playoffs in 6 seasons, winning only 2 games total.
The biggest issue for the Snyder era, on the field, was the lack of a franchise quarterback. During his time, the team tried the likes of Jason Campbell, Robert Griffin III, Mark Brunell, Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith and most recently Taylor Heinicke.
For awhile, it appeared that Kirk Cousins would finally be the long-term answer, but the team let him walk to Minnesota after two franchise tag seasons. With the Vikings, Cousins has taken the next step forward in his career, making frequent Pro-Bowls while being near the league leaders in most passing cateogires.
Off the Field
While the play on the field was bad, off the field the franchise was one of the worst, if not the worst, in professional sports. First, the team suffered massive criticism for their former name, eventually scrapping it for the Washington Football Team. After two years of still being unable to decide, they eventually settled on the Commanders.
Next, the team struggled with financial irregularities when it became known that Snyder and his team were under-reporting ticket sales. As a result, the team was keeping extra money that should have been given to visiting franchises. Furthermore, it was leaked that Snyder was also collecting dirt on his fellow owners, in the event of needing to blackmail the others.
While there were still more controversies, including an issue with removing trees, Snyder also cultivated an extremely hostile work environment, resulting in multiple lawsuits and investigations.
As the franchise appears headed towards a sale, Josh Harris and Steve Apostolopoulos appear the likely new owner. Whoever ends up paying over $6 billion will have a lot of work to do to clean up after Snyder.
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