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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Commanders Eyeing More Updates Into 2022-23

According to many metrics, the Washington Commanders are one of the most storied and successful teams in the NFL. They’ve logged over 600 total wins over a +1,000-game record. Back in 2021, Forbes valued the franchise as the fifth-most valuable in the league.

But anyone who follows the NFL knows the Commanders have been under a full rehaul (possibly even a tailspin) for the last few years—and that owner Dan Snyder has been attempting to pull out all the stops to right his franchise’s course. But Snyder’s role feels either tragic or like too little too late, depending on who you ask.

After years of staunchly defending the team’s former name, Snyder finally capitulated last year with a full rebranding as the Washington Commanders. But the move came on the heels of reports of serious misconduct, which were investigated by the NFL. In response, Snyder made personnel changes and handed more responsibility to his wife and business partner.

But Snyder isn’t just attempting to right his front office. On the gridiron, head coach Ray Rivera is also faced with a serious overhaul. At the moment, NFL betting odds favor the Jaguars for the Commanders’ season start on Sunday, September 11. Though the roster has names like Carson Wentz and Jahan Dotson, there’s no promise on how recent roster changes will pan out.

The Commanders’ overhaul, it seems, touches almost every facet of the franchise.


A New Home in Virginia

As mentioned above, Forbes valued the Commanders at $4.2 billion back in 2021 to make them the fifth-most valuable team in the league. Despite the team’s lagging record in recent years and ongoing public controversies, Snyder has allegedly managed to keep the team afloat (more on this below). In fact, one source for the team recently stated that the Commanders paid more than $100 million for 200 acres of land in Virginia.

For fans, this might be the best news in years. The Commanders’ FedEx Field has consistently been rated one of the worst in the NFL, but news of the land purchase also comes with rumors of a domed stadium, and a mini-mall with retail shops, a music arena, and plenty of restaurants.

The plan would be to target a new construction quickly; the team’s contract with FedEx Field ends in 2026.


Plenty of Potential at OTA

Aside from building plans for a new home field, River’s Commanders are also looking to build a killer roster. As mentioned above, there’s plenty of optimism when it comes to players like Wentz and Dotson, who comes straight from the Nittany Lions.

However, not all fans are convinced Wentz will make a strong replacement for Sam Howell… which is saying something. But, at least from an analyst’s perspective, the Commanders should be a competitor in the NFC East with a strong potential to clinch the division—that is, in a best-case scenario.


NFL Continues the Snyder Ice-Out

No matter where a Commanders’ fan falls in terms of loving or hating Snyder, there’s little argument to be made that the team’s problems don’t fall on his shoulders. Unfortunately for Snyder, the hits keep coming. Most recently, he became the subject of an FTC investigation into fraudulent bookkeeping. 

Compared to allegations of workplace harassment (which led to a $10 million fine) and keeping the team’s controversial name for so long (which almost led to FedEx sponsors pulling out), Snyder’s current row with the FTC may be the nail in his coffin. According to USA Today, one NFL franchise owner hinted that the league may be counting votes to oust Snyder.

Apparently, the FTC investigation will be looking into whether Snyder withheld funds from the NFL’s revenue-sharing system. For many owners, especially those who felt his $10 million fine for workplace misconduct was light, there’s little reason to support an owner like Snyder. And coming straight off the disappointment in Snyder is disappointment in the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, for not doling out a stronger punishment.


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