Fifteen women alleged sexual harassment against employees of the Washington NFL team on Thursday. None of the women accused Daniel Snyder of sexual harassment but they did blame him for the company's culture. That culture has manifested itself in many ways over the last 20 years and it's part of the reason Snyder needs to sell his NFL team.
Daniel Snyder bought the Washington NFL team in 1999. The franchise had gone 184-143 over the prior 20 seasons, a 56.3 winning percentage.
In the 20 years since they've gone 142-193 (42.4%). Washington won three Super Bowls before Snyder, they've won just two playoff games since. The last came in 2005, they've only had three seasons with winning records since then.
By every possible football measurement, Snyder has been an awful owner.
But that's just the start.
Snyder has spent 20 years monetizing every possible aspect of his franchise at the expense of its popularity and success on the field.
The list of misdeeds is long. This one only looks at the first 10 years and it ranges from the super-cynical to the absurd. It includes one of Snyder's few record-setting moments when he became the first NFL owner to charge fans to attend training sessions.
He also charged them for parking. It also includes the time he sued a 73-year-old grandmother and Washington fan Pat Hill because she could no longer afford her season tickets.
(He also tried to sue the newspaper who put that list together.)
Whether trying to profit off of 9/11 merchandise or trying to use Hurricane Katrina to get his theme park out of its lease in Louisiana, Snyder has been shameless in his pursuit of profit. His football decisions have been just as bemusing at times.
Over the course of this decade, Snyder has protected his friend Bruce Allen within the organization.
Allen's friendship with Snyder was his selling point for the 10 years he was the team's president. That led to constant dysfunction that peaked when they fired Scot McCloughan, a former Washington GM who had helped to build two Super Bowl-winning rosters elsewhere.
Before Allen, it was Vinny Cerato. He first became GM in 1999 when Snyder took over. There was nothing to sell Cerato on but he replaced former Super Bowl-winning GM Charley Casserly.
Marty Schottenheimer fired Cerato two years later. Snyder fired Schottenheimer because he wanted more input. Former quarterback Joe Theismann detailed that for ESPN.
One of the first things Snyder did after firing Schottenheimer? Bring back Cerato. He would stay in that role until 2009 when he resigned.
This week began with Snyder caving to pressure from sponsors to finally remove the team's racist nickname and logo. Of course, in true Snyder fashion, he used said nickname and logo in the press release announcing its removal. Alongside that announcement came rumours of a breaking story from the Washington Post.
It took until Thursday before it was printed but the revelations were as shocking as anticipated. The accusations prefaced two sudden firings and an abrupt retirement over the last two weeks. And now the focus turns to Snyder.
In 2017, former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson began the process of selling his team. The move came after allegations surfaced against him and details about settlements being paid to employees arose. Richardson wasn't overtly forced out. NFL owners haven't forced another owner out the way the NBA did with Donald Sterling despite a myriad of controversies over the years.
Snyder won't be forced out. It's possible to do but it won't happen. Minority owners are already trying to sell their shares in the franchise amidst this latest controversy. The sponsors who were threatening to pull their deals before this latest controversy haven't got good reason to hang around.
The Panthers sold in 2018 for $2.2 billion. Washington has a much larger franchise than the Panthers. Its value will eclipse $3 billion. The demographic in the market to buy an NFL team aren't feeling any effect of the pandemic either.
Snyder has a choice; he can sell the team he bought for $750 million 20 years ago and further his profit or he can attempt an uphill climb after proving for 20 years he can't find his way down a declining path.
A new owner would allow the franchise to take on a clean slate. That person gets to name his/her team and enjoy the long-term benefits of the rebranding process. They inherit a huge market in Washington with a fanbase that has proven it will buy tickets when the team is competent. They can shed all the negative PR of the prior regime, solidifying sponsors and giving free agents a reason to sign in Washington.
Players and agents have a long track record of problems with Washington that makes signing for them less appealing than signing elsewhere.
Ron Rivera is already installed as a respected, established head coach who can provide stability on the football side of operations while the ownership and executives change over. Everything about this situation calls for Daniel Snyder to sell his team.
He won't do it though.
We know from 20 years of watching him that when all logic says to do one thing, Snyder will do the opposite.