Goodbye Gruden and ongoing Snyder investigation discussion

joe dokes

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On Nov. 29, 2018, Kevin A. McGinnis, an outside lawyer for Bank of America, emailed Stephen Choi, the team's then-chief financial officer, asking if he was "all set on the remaining closing document required ... such as ... authorizing resolutions." Choi replied that "our legal dept is in the process of finalizing drafts."
On Dec. 13, 2018, Eric Schaffer, then the senior vice president for Washington's football operations and general counsel, wrote to the bank saying, "we have examined and relied upon the following ... resolutions of the board of directors of the Borrower authorizing the transactions." Neither Choi nor Schaffer responded to questions from ESPN.
On that same date, McGinnis, the bank lawyer, again asked the team for the board resolution authorizing the loan because it needed to be attached to the bank officers' closing certificate.
However, no board resolution was provided to Bank of America before the credit line was closed, according to the documents and sources. Nearly a month later, on Jan. 8, 2019, McGinnis again emailed Choi to request an original copy of the resolution. The bank received none, the documents show.
Sounds like Jerry Lundegaard giving the auto finance people the runaround. I hope the end is the same for Snyder, but I doubt it.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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NFL running a nice operation: Snyder fraudulently takes out a $55 million loan, then the minority owners who object then take a haircut of ~$2 billion to sell their minority shares. (Compared to the current estimated selling price of $7 billion.) Snyder is failing upward, indeed.
 

IdiotKicker

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I'm kind of surprised that Fred Smith would let himself get pushed around by a twerp like Snyder. Smith did two tours in Vietnam, was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two purple hearts, and founded and grew FedEx from nothing. He's got a reputation as a really tough businessman and obviously knows his shit when it comes to money. The fact that he and the other minority owners were willing to get bought out so easily seems fishy to me unless there is something else that Snyder had on them that they wanted to keep quiet. And Bank of America is pretty clearly fucked here as well if they indeed authorized the loan without the proper signatures from Washington. This is the kind of stuff that ends people's careers, when you send money to someone without the proper authority. The whole thing absolutely reeks.
 

joe dokes

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I'm kind of surprised that Fred Smith would let himself get pushed around by a twerp like Snyder. Smith did two tours in Vietnam, was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and two purple hearts, and founded and grew FedEx from nothing. He's got a reputation as a really tough businessman and obviously knows his shit when it comes to money. The fact that he and the other minority owners were willing to get bought out so easily seems fishy to me unless there is something else that Snyder had on them that they wanted to keep quiet. And Bank of America is pretty clearly fucked here as well if they indeed authorized the loan without the proper signatures from Washington. This is the kind of stuff that ends people's careers, when you send money to someone without the proper authority. The whole thing absolutely reeks.
It could be that Smith figured that getting away from Snyder as quickly as possible was in his best interests, as opposed to still being entangled with him -- and face possible liability for Snyder's misdeeds -- when other shit hits the fan. Maybe Smith is the source.
Someone at BoA fucked up, but if Snyder, or someone he authorized, checked the box that said "I have authorization from the board" (figuratively speaking) that's bank fraud every bit as much as inventing non-existent collateral.

EDIT: and what Fossum said about his son.
 

Hoya81

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Does the league have any exposure here if Goodell signed off on Snyder getting the loan without getting permission from the partners?
 

Van Everyman

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Only if someone actually bothers to hold them accountable I’d guess.

As for Smith, it also be that he tired of Snyder, having been financially involved since 1999 with the naming rights of the stadium. Ofa also worth noting that Smith was also the guy that activist investors targeted about the name change from Redskins and resisted meeting with them for a very long time before finally caving in 2020.

I will say tho: at a time, when the lights are very bright on how badly the NFL does in terms of hiring Black coaches, learning that the HC of the Falcons is the son of a billionaire magnet is kind of infuriating to me. I almost don’t care how talented or deserving he is or may be. There is almost 0 chance that he earned his way into this position on merit and it is embarrassing he has one of these jobs.

I would hope Brian Flores’ and Steve Wilkes’ lawyers are paying close attention to some of the reporting here and the role patronage appears to be playing.
 
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Prodigal Sox

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NFL running a nice operation: Snyder fraudulently takes out a $55 million loan, then the minority owners who object then take a haircut of ~$2 billion to sell their minority shares. (Compared to the current estimated selling price of $7 billion.) Snyder is failing upward, indeed.
It's been decades now so there is quite the hagiography about Snyder's business origins/dealings but if you delve deep enough you will find that failing upwards has been a hallmark of his whole career starting in college. There was quite a bit of luck involved in addition to his acumen.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Does the league have any exposure here if Goodell signed off on Snyder getting the loan without getting permission from the partners?
It would have to be federally and not the other franchise owners, because I've got to think the other majority owners who vote on Goodell's salary every year love to see him stick up for the majority at the expense of the minority owners.

Edit: Although when it comes to fraudulently obtaining cash as opposed to simply behavioral misconduct, there is a chance of a punishment greater than "stepping away from daily operations" or some such slap on the wrist.
 

Garshaparra

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I will say tho: at a time, when the lights are very bright on how badly the NFL does in terms of hiring Black coaches, learning that the HC of the Falcons is the son of a billionaire magnet is kind of infuriating to me. I almost don’t care how talented or deserving he is or may be. There is almost 0 chance that he earned his way into this position on merit and it is embarrassing he has one of these jobs.
I knew Arthur Smith was the FedEx magnate's son, but hadn't dug into his career path, which is really fascinating. ESPN did a gushy report on his rise a couple of years ago, talking about how he forged a path separate from his father. This does not bear much scrutiny.

He went from Georgetown prep to UNC as an offensive lineman, but played sparingly due to injuries. After graduating, he did a year as a coach's assistant at UNC, then got a job as a defensive quality control coach with Washington for 2 seasons (his dad a substantial minority owner). After a teamwide purge when Jim Zorn was canned in favor of Mike Shanahan (remember when that happened?!), Arthur was out of football for a year, then did a season as an intern at Ole Miss (where his father had donated millions in years past). His next low level job was with the Titans in 2011, again as a quality control coach. While Fred did not have a stake in the Titans, FedEx is Tennessee's biggest employer , and Fred himself is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (inducted in 2010). One must think that factored in. Arthur then survived four different head coaching regime changes over the next decade, mostly working with the team's tight ends. Again, either he's the greatest TE coach of all time, or it helps having a billionaire owner with deep influence in NFL circles.

His big break was the move to OC under Vrabel, and the Titans had a huge season with him in that role in 2019, with Jonnu Smith and Tannehill having their best seasons, and King Henry dominating. That level of success is undeniable, but how much it had to do with coaching is hard to estimate. His first year in Atlanta was pretty bad, but they were insanely hamstrung with top players cut, injured or suspended.
 

Van Everyman

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I knew Arthur Smith was the FedEx magnate's son, but hadn't dug into his career path, which is really fascinating. ESPN did a gushy report on his rise a couple of years ago, talking about how he forged a path separate from his father. This does not bear much scrutiny.

He went from Georgetown prep to UNC as an offensive lineman, but played sparingly due to injuries. After graduating, he did a year as a coach's assistant at UNC, then got a job as a defensive quality control coach with Washington for 2 seasons (his dad a substantial minority owner). After a teamwide purge when Jim Zorn was canned in favor of Mike Shanahan (remember when that happened?!), Arthur was out of football for a year, then did a season as an intern at Ole Miss (where his father had donated millions in years past). His next low level job was with the Titans in 2011, again as a quality control coach. While Fred did not have a stake in the Titans, FedEx is Tennessee's biggest employer , and Fred himself is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (inducted in 2010). One must think that factored in. Arthur then survived four different head coaching regime changes over the next decade, mostly working with the team's tight ends. Again, either he's the greatest TE coach of all time, or it helps having a billionaire owner with deep influence in NFL circles.

His big break was the move to OC under Vrabel, and the Titans had a huge season with him in that role in 2019, with Jonnu Smith and Tannehill having their best seasons, and King Henry dominating. That level of success is undeniable, but how much it had to do with coaching is hard to estimate. His first year in Atlanta was pretty bad, but they were insanely hamstrung with top players cut, injured or suspended.
Thanks, that is a great deep dive into exactly what I was getting at. In someways this isn’t really a knock on either Smith,. Parents are always going to do what they can to help their children succeed and kids are going to accept that kind of treatment. And nothing in that article suggests that Arthur is outright unqualified or anything.

But even if you think Arthur got the job on the up and up – which I’ve noted I find hard to believe – it is difficult to read the latest piece without concluding that Fred gave up hundreds of millions of dollars so he could keep it.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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I've been told by a lawyer whose firm is very well plugged in the NFL (although they dont represent Smith or the Redskins) that Fred Smith wants to buy the Falcons (who are not yet for sale), and wanted to get out of the Redskins quickly to avoid any possible entanglements if the opportunity comes up. He also wants some distance from the stink of Snyder. I dont know why he wants to buy the Falcons vs. the Titans, given his connections in Tennessee.

One other Arthur Smith fun fact-he has a brother named Cannon Smith. Cannon is married to Collins Tuohy, the sister of Michael Oher (The Blind Side).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Does the league have any exposure here if Goodell signed off on Snyder getting the loan without getting permission from the partners?
No. The minority partners released all claims when they sold and I presume neither the Commanders and BoA are going to make an issue out of the loan.
 

Van Everyman

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No. The minority partners released all claims when they sold and I presume neither the Commanders and BoA are going to make an issue out of the loan.
The only thing I could imagine is if the minority partners had any shareholders who could claim they were defrauded in some way by the settlement. Not sure about the other guys but I believe the investment in the team was a personal one for Smith, not via FedEx.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The only thing I could imagine is if the minority partners had any shareholders who could claim they were defrauded in some way by the settlement. Not sure about the other guys but I believe the investment in the team was a personal one for Smith, not via FedEx.
It's possible but IMO not very likely as I'm sure whatever agreement governed the sale of securities included a very broad release of claims from any person or entity associated with the minority stakes.
 

soxhop411

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This Snyder saga may soon be over
It actually seems to be on the verge of happening.

The Commanders, after nearly 24 years of ownership by Dan Snyder, could very soon be under new management.



Per multiple sources, Dan and Tanya Snyder have cleared out of the team’s facility in advance of the sale of the team. As one source explained it, they left in late December.

We’re also told that, within the building, the word being used regarding a potential sale is “imminent.” Multiple sources said that a sale could be approved and announced as soon as the upcoming league meetings in Arizona.

Dan and Tanya Snyder announced in November that they were considering selling all or some of the franchise. The process of securing bidders thereafter unfolded, amid some skepticism from within the ranks of other owners that Dan Snyder will actually go through with it.

The identity of the group that will be purchasing the team is not known. At least three different prospective bidders have toured the facility and the stadium.

A team spokesperson said via text message that the organization is not commenting on anything related to a potential transaction.
https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2023/03/16/with-sale-of-commanders-believed-to-be-imminent-the-snyders-have-cleared-out-of-the-facility/
 

mauf

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Signing bonuses for some of the Commanders’ recently signed free agents aren’t due until May 12, rather than in the customary 15-30 days after signing.

https://theathletic.com/4323356/2023/03/19/dan-snyder-commanders-sale-contracts/?source=user_shared_article

I’m not sure I’d reach the conclusion the author does (that Snyder expects to sell by May 12); the late payment date might just be designed to ensure Snyder gets credit for the payments in any working capital adjustment at closing without having to specifically negotiate that.
 

mauf

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Here’s the latest from Florio.

View: https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/1640296982752182278?s=20


From the article:

The situation points even more strongly to a sale of the team, followed by a declaration from the league that the White investigation has become moot and thus will go under the same rug where the results of Beth Wilkinson’s investigation results reside. If Snyder were intent on staying, he wouldn’t give White what amounts to even more evidence to support a recommendation that he be removed….

While nothing reportedly will be happening with Snyder at the league meetings in Arizona, this latest report seems to highlight the fact that Snyder truly is on the way out. The White investigation, with allegations ultimately unrebutted by Snyder, would be the thing that the league uses to get 24 votes to push him out.
 

Marciano490

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White and Wilkinson - really churning through two of the best lawyers out there. Shit, Mary Jo got Gotti and the original WTC bombers.
 

joe dokes

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I'd love to see a couple of owners with no shits to give call for (the entirely not possible, I know) the diversion of all of Snyder's profits from the sale to some charity he hates.
 

Marciano490

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It’s kind of hilarious that sports ownership was already the ultimate insiders club and now it’s becoming even more insular with power owners having franchises across different leagues.
 

nattysez

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I'm very curious to see if the new ownership changes the team name again. My assumption is that they will.
 

bakahump

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What does Johnson bring? Cant be money. I mean he is comfy but he isnt in the 6 Billion neighborhood of Money guys. IOW whats the max he can contribute? 100 Million? Thats a rounding error for this deal.
Just Name recognition? You would think that being a "76ers Owner" or "Billionaire capable of putting the deal together" is probably "recognition enough".

Whatever. Just odd to me.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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What does Johnson bring? Cant be money. I mean he is comfy but he isnt in the 6 Billion neighborhood of Money guys. IOW whats the max he can contribute? 100 Million? Thats a rounding error for this deal.
Just Name recognition? You would think that being a "76ers Owner" or "Billionaire capable of putting the deal together" is probably "recognition enough".

Whatever. Just odd to me.
The ability for the NFL to claim more Minority Ownership than they could yesterday
 

edoug

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Amazing that Vince McMahon sold WWE for more than Snyder got for his NFL team.
 

Marciano490

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Glad he’s out, but sucks to see Snyder “forced out” to the tune of billions and billions in profit. Still, seems like a dude for whom money isn’t nearly enough, so hopefully this hurts.
 

Sandwich Pick

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Glad he’s out, but sucks to see Snyder “forced out” to the tune of billions and billions in profit. Still, seems like a dude for whom money isn’t nearly enough, so hopefully this hurts.
I'd say that I am getting Donald Sterling vibes from this sale, but do the players hate him as much as the fans do?
 

Bread of Yaz

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I'd say that I am getting Donald Sterling vibes from this sale, but do the players hate him as much as the fans do?
There was a confidential survey of players y the NFLPA a couple weeks back and they rated lowest on virtually every quality of life metric (IIRC, no day care even though most teams provide etc).
 

mauf

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Glad he’s out, but sucks to see Snyder “forced out” to the tune of billions and billions in profit. Still, seems like a dude for whom money isn’t nearly enough, so hopefully this hurts.
I wonder if buyers actually pay a premium to succeed a vilified owner like Snyder or Sterling. I mean, I’ve never heard of Josh Harris, but I’ll bet he’ll enjoy a long honeymoon period with fans, as Steve Ballmer did when he bought the Clippers. It’s arguably a better situation than succeeding a beloved owner.