A Timeline of the Washington Commanders Under Dan Snyder

When Daniel Snyder, 34, became the youngest person ever to buy an NFL franchise in 1999, he ushered in a wave of optimism and promise for the Washington franchise, which is the bedrock of the league.

After a 6–10 season, the team still generated increased revenue from a fervent fan base that flocked to suburban Maryland Stadium named after its late owner, Jack Kent Cooke. The franchise’s biggest concern then was how to finance a parking lot that would accommodate them all, a concern that did not bother Snyder, a lifelong fan who called buying the team “the most amazing thing that ever happened to me”. Said.

“In my dreams,” Snyder said after confirming the sale, “we’ll win the Super Bowl next year.”

By the time he agreed in principle to sell the Washington Commanders to the Washington Commanders for a record $6 billion on Thursday, the Snyders had been ravaged by scandals that have attracted NFL scrutiny and legal scrutiny. The formerly ruthless, big-spending owner was pressured to change the team’s name and logo, buy out his partners, and finally, wake up from a dream that has turned into a nightmare for many.

Despite Snyder’s dream, the team never won the Super Bowl during his tenure, or even made it as far as a conference championship game.

Here are some of the key moments from Daniel Snyder’s tenure as owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.

June 2000

Exciting the fan base early, Snyder added two future future Hall of Famers, defensive end Bruce Smith and cornerback Deion Sanders, who signed seven-year deals worth up to $56 million, as well as quarterback Jeff George. The moves backfired: Snyder fired coach Norv Turner after Week 14, Washington missed the playoffs, and Sanders retired.

July 2000

In a move that has since become the norm around the NFL, the team became the first to charge admission for training camp practices. Snyder said the $10 per person fee would help improve access to players.

January 7, 2006

Washington won 17–10 in the 2005 NFC Wild Card Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the franchise’s last playoff victory.

September 2009

In the midst of the Great Recession the team sued 125 fans for trying to back out of contracts to buy season tickets. The team won a $2 million judgment against the fans, including many who defaulted on contracts due to financial losses during the economic downturn.

October 2009

After starting the season 2–4, the team relieved head coach Jim Zorn of responsibility for calling the plays, handing it over to an assistant coach who came out of retirement in Week 5. The team banned spectators from bringing any signs or banners into FedEx Field, citing safety and comfort, following an increase in the number of signs important to Snyder and front office executive Vinny Cerrato. Washington lifted the embargo a month later.

February 2011

Snyder sued The Washington City Paper for $1 million, alleging that a 2010 article, “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder,” defamed him and included an anti-Semitic portrayal of him. In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Snyder said he never read the article, which outlined various public misconceptions, “because he heard all the details.”

Seven months later, Snyder withdrew the lawsuit.

July 2011

The team reduced the capacity of FedEx Field from 91,704, then the second largest capacity in the NFL, to approximately 82,000 after failing to find buyers for many of the 400-level seats.

May 2012

An independent arbitrator upheld the NFL’s decision to fine the Washington and Dallas Cowboys for overspending on player contracts during the league’s uncapped 2010 season. Washington was fined $18 million per year for two years, and Dallas paid $5 million per year for two years.

Snyder joined Jerry Jones in fighting the penalty, at times the owners of the two most valuable franchises were tied over a number of league issues including labor and television rights negotiations. Cornered by a group of Hard Line bosses, the friends even filmed a Papa John’s ad together in 2010.

May 2013

For nearly 90 years, Washington’s pro football team was known as the Redskins, a term considered a slur against Native Americans. Facing protests over the name and mascot and a federal lawsuit over the trademarks, Snyder told USA Today that he would never change the name. “It’s that simple. Never–you can use the cap,” he said.

May 2018

In 2018, five former cheerleaders told The New York Times that they were sexually harassed and intimidated by the team and sponsors during a trip to Costa Rica for a swimsuit calendar photo shoot. Cheerleaders described being “pimped out” by the team’s male sponsors were invited to photo shoots where the cheerleaders were made to photograph scantily clad or in some cases nude.

After an internal investigation that lasted four months, Washington announced changes to the cheerleading squad, including a “more conservative outfit”, the addition of male cheerleaders, and a ban on suite holders at team photo shoots. In 2021, the cheerleading program was scrapped in favor of a coed dance team.

July 13, 2020

Days after the team’s largest corporate sponsor, FedEx, asked the team to reconsider its name and mascot, Washington announced in a statement that it would drop the name and logo and rebrand. The franchise would be identified as the Washington football team until a replacement was decided upon.

The move came weeks after the team’s other sponsors, including Nike and Pepsi, received letters from investors calling on the companies to cut their ties with the team. On July 2, FedEx, which operates in Landover, Md. Pays approximately $8 million a year in the U.S. to have its name on the team’s stadium, told the team in a letter that it would ask that “FedEx” be taken out of the stadium at the end of the season if the team did not change its nickname. Have been taken.

Nike stopped selling team gear, and walmartTarget and Amazon – some of the nation’s largest retailers – had said they would stop selling Washington’s merchandise on their websites.

July 16, 2020

In July 2020, The Washington Post published an investigation into the team’s mistreatment of female employees, citing 15 former front office employees.

Snyder fired several top executives named in the harassment allegations and hired Wilkinson Stekloff, a Washington-based law firm, to investigate the allegations. Larry Michaels, a play-by-play broadcaster and senior vice president of the team, retired after several women accused him of making derogatory remarks to female staffers.

The NFL took over the investigation, which “concluded that for many years the workplace environment at the Washington Football Team, generally and for women in particular, was highly unprofessional.” The team was fined $10 million in July 2021, and Snyder agreed to step down from day-to-day operations of the team, handing the reins to his wife, Tanya.

August 2020

In August, The Washington Post published a report detailing claims from 25 women who said they experienced sexual harassment while working for the team since 2008, including an allegation that a male staff member specifically sexually assaulted her. Recorded lewd videos for Snyder at a cheerleader calendar photo shoot. The staff member and Snyder denied the claims.

October 2021

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal published emails sent between 2011 and 2018 in which former Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, turned TV analyst, wrote racist and misogynistic comments to Bruce Allen, who was then president of the Washington team .

The emails were discovered during a workplace misconduct review at the Washington football team. As women who brought forth sexual assault claims against the team lobbied for the NFL’s investigation to be made public, members of Congress sought to review the relevant documents.

January 2022

Several Philadelphia Eagles fans fell from their seats when a guardrail near a player tunnel collapsed, nearly landing on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts after a game in 2022. The fans sued the Commanders, and the lawsuit is ongoing.

february. 2, 2022

After two years of searching, the team’s announcement of a new name and logo was leaked ahead of the official rollout, which included a promotional video showcasing the team’s former and potentially offensive name.

February 9, 2022

At a congressional roundtable, two former team employees accused Snyder of creating a toxic workplace, with one claiming he touched her inappropriately and the other saying he held a work event at his Aspen, Colo. for which team officials hired prostitutes. Snyder called the allegations “absolutely false”. The NFL launched a second investigation into the team, led by former SEC chair Mary Jo White.

A congressional subcommittee referred the team’s claims of financial irregularities to the FTC.

July 2022

In a 29-page memo, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said Snyder directed a “shadow investigation” to interfere with and undermine the NFL’s investigation, use private investigators to harass and intimidate witnesses, and created a 100-page dossier targeting victims, witnesses and journalists who had shared “credible public allegations of harassment” against the team.

October 2022

In an NFL team owners’ meeting, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay stated that there was “merit” to remove Snyder. Such a move would require at least 24 of the league’s 32 owners to agree and would set a precedent for the league.

“We have to act,” said Irsay. “He needs to be removed.”

November 2022

Snyder announced that he had hired bankers to explore the possible sale of some or all of the Commander.

February 2023

An ESPN report details that federal prosecutors in Virginia are investigating allegations of financial misconduct by Snyder and the Washington Commanders, stemming from a $55 million loan taken out without the knowledge of their partners.

Snyder and the team also face several other inquiries, including financial irregularities from the Virginia state attorney general and a lawsuit filed by Washington DC attorney general Carl Racine over season ticket sales.