It is no longer just a foregone conclusion, but a certainty that the NFL's Washington franchise will scrap its longtime "Redskins" nickname. The team announced on Monday morning that it will be retiring the nickname, also noting that owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera "are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years."
But what, exactly, will the team's new identity be? According to The Team 980's Kevin Sheehan, there's actually already a front-runner for Washington's new name -- and, in fact, there may have been for a while: the Warriors.
Earlier this month, Sheehan called "Warriors" the "definite leader in the clubhouse" to become Washington's new name. Now, as the Washington Post noted, he's doubled down on the possibility, saying he has it "on pretty good authority" that "Warriors" is the leading contender to replace the old name ahead of the 2020 season.
"I don't think that's a reveal by any stretch," Sheehan said. "I think people do know that the Redskins have marked 'Washington Warriors' just in case, and ... I would bet big money on the 'Warriors' being the new name for the football team."
As the Post's Scott Allen wrote, Snyder has shown his appreciation for the "Warriors" name before. Snyder owned expansion rights to a D.C.-area franchise in the Arena Football League before its 2009 shutdown, and he reportedly intended to call his prospective AFL team the "Warriors," applying for the trademark for the name and even planning to use helmets "modeled upon those worn by the Redskins in the 1960s."
Washington has reportedly already determined it will not use any Native American imagery in its new name and look, but a name like the "Warriors" would conceivably allow the club to retain its current color scheme and secondary logos. Despite years of Snyder suggesting he'd never re-brand the NFC East contender, the club kicked off a "thorough review" of its identity amid immense pressure from various sponsors and retailers, and now intends to retire its longtime nickname at the conclusion of said review.