NFL owners will meet Tuesday in lower Manhattan for their annual fall meeting in New York, and even though it's not on the agenda, expect there to be plenty of discussion around Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder.
There's renewed focus on Snyder in light of ESPN's Thursday report where sources told reporters that Snyder has . Snyder will not be at the meetings, and Washington should be represented there by his wife, Tanya, who has been running day-to-day operations since last July.
The agenda itself is rather bland, but there is a time for a closed session. In that session, which is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday, only one representative from each team will be in the room where they'll discuss (what's thought to be) confidential matters. It's there those conversations can be had about Snyder.
"I don't know that other owners even take his calls [anymore]," one team executive said about Snyder to CBS Sports.
Snyder cannot represent the team at league meetings until he meets with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, multiple league sources have told CBS Sports. That is disputed by Snyder's attorneys, who said in a statement obtained by CBS Sports that he is "no longer under any NFL restriction related to his involvement with the team." The meeting with Goodell likely would not take place until after the conclusion of the two investigations by Mary Jo White into Snyder - one concerning alleged financial improprieties and another surrounding alleged sexual harassment.
Fellow owners have not been moved to vote out Snyder yet. The findings from investigator Beth Wilkinson's report from 2021 into the toxic workplace culture have not been released, and the league has no plans to release it. No NFL owner has ever been voted out, and there would need to be 24 votes to remove Snyder.
Removing an owner would be unprecedented in today's sports world. Jerry Richardson put the Panthers up for sale in 2017 before an investigation ever began in earnest into allegations of sexual misconduct and racist language. Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA, and the team was sold after his wife removed him from the trust. Suns owner Robert Sarver put his team up for sale last month following a year-long suspension and amid sponsors and minority owners asking him to sell. Kelly Loeffler, who formerly owned the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, sold the team after she clashed with players over the Black Lives Matter movement.
Snyder, whose penchant for retaining private investigators was revealed during the House Oversight Committee's inquiry into the workplace culture, is reported to be threatening kompromat against fellow owners. Megan Imbert, a former Washington employee who had a dossier put together on her by Snyder attorneys, wrote on Twitter on Thursday that the idea that Snyder wouldn't do that for fellow owners was "comical."
Snyder had dossiers compiled on us, former employees (thank you for revealing @OversightDems)…we are to believe Snyder lawyers that he didn’t have investigations on the other owners, the very people who have the power to collectively remove him. That is comical…nice try.— Megan Imbert (@meganimbert) October 13, 2022
Another former Washington employee told CBS Sports she has long held suspicions Snyder "has dirt on people."
"It never made sense to me that he was able to stay an owner this long," the former employee said. "I already knew he had a history of suing people and just using everything against people. The only way it made sense was if he had dirt on people."
Snyder's attorneys John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, partners at Holland & Knight, have said the allegations against Snyder are "categorically untrue."
"Dan has never hired or authorized a private investigator to investigate the owner of any other NFL franchise, nor has he hired anyone to do so on his behalf," the attorneys said in a statement obtained by CBS Sports. "He has no 'dossiers' compiled on any owners."
One proposal in the ESPN report involves withholding financial help to Snyder to build a new stadium. The NFL usually approves debt limit waivers for owners when they build new stadiums, and there's normally a $200 million loan the league gives for stadium funds.
"The league's only real tool is to starve him from the funds to build a stadium," a team president told ESPN.
But one high-ranking club executive disagreed. "That is not a legitimate strategy," the source told CBS Sports. After all, Snyder has shown he's comfortable operating his team in the league's worst stadium for years.
Also in that closed session, the owners plan to discuss the $790 million St. Louis relocation settlement as first reported by The Athletic. A league source tells CBS Sports that "a reasonable conclusion" has essentially been determined on how the settlement will be paid, likely meaning Rams owner Stan Kroenke will foot a good portion of the tab and the remainder split among the 31 other teams.
Another owner that will be missing from the meeting is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Ross, who was suspended in August for integrity of the game violations for his team's tampering of Tom Brady and Sean Payton, will have his suspension lifted Oct. 17, one day before the meetings. But the terms of his suspension dictate he still cannot "attend any League meeting prior" to the big owners meeting in the spring of 2023. Ross has also been barred from entering the Dolphins' team facilities since August through Monday.
League sources have indicated Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel will represent the team Tuesday at the meetings.