Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder reportedly "realizes that he must sell the entire franchise" after originally aiming to sell a minority stake in the NFL organization.
Liz Clarke, Roxanne Roberts, Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post reported Thursday that Snyder's stance has changed in recent weeks amid an increasing debt burden and pressure to finalize plans to build a new stadium.
Snyder and his wife, co-owner Tanya Snyder, announced in early November they'd hired Bank of America Securities to "consider potential transactions" involving the franchise.
The Snyders, who've owned the Commanders since May 1999, were aiming to find a partner willing to make a financial investment, but sources told the Washington Post they're unlikely to find a buyer without giving them a guarantee to purchase controlling interest in the future.
Snyder must also repay a $450 million debt waiver given to him by the league in 2021, when he bought out the previous group of minority investors to claim 100 percent ownership of the franchise, by 2028, which is where the debt burden comes into play.
It's created a situation where a full sale, which would allow him to clear the debt, is the most likely scenario.
Forbes estimated the Commanders' worth at $5.6 billion in its 2022 team valuations, which represented a 33 percent increase from last year.
In May, the franchise purchased 200 acres of land in Virginia for $100 million as a potential site of a future $3 billion stadium project.
The stadium plans haven't been finalized or approved, however, which means a sale in the short term would allow the Snyders to avoid having to make any private investment in the project.
All of those factors combined with numerous interested parties, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, make a full sale the most likely outcome.
The potential change in ownership comes amid a tumultuous time for the franchise.
In July 2021, the NFL fined the Commanders $10 million after an investigation detailed a toxic culture that included bullying, intimidation, multiple allegations of sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace.
Those findings led to multiple further investigations by D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Racine announced he was filing a lawsuit against the organization, Snyder, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell on behalf of D.C. residents for "colluding to deceive" the team's fans about the workplace culture.
Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN also reported the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia opened an investigation in early November into alleged financial improprieties based on information unearthed during the Oversight Committee's investigation.
On the field, the Commanders have been one of the NFL's hottest teams with four wins in their past five games, including an upset of the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.
Washington will be back in action Sunday, when it visits NRG Stadium to take on the 1-7-1 Houston Texans hoping to move its record above .500.