Can an NFL owner be stripped of their franchise?

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder
Adam Hulse

Owning an NFL team is one of the most profitable businesses in the entire world. Each of the 32 teams generate billions of dollars annually in revenue and are all valued at over two billion dollars as an individual franchise. The financial valuation and profit margins for each of these teams continually increases every year with an unlimited amount of potential.

The 32 NFL owners form one of the most exclusive groups of billionaires on the planet. Many other billionaires around the world have the desire to become part of this elite club, but the issue is that so few teams ever go up for sale because of their insane value and profits that are basically guaranteed to continue producing at an incredible rate.


While all the owners are in control of their franchises, they are also a part of the "parent company" which is the NFL. They all have the ability to run their businesses as they please, while still falling within the rules and regulations of the league's main office. Any owner who fails to follow the guidelines is subject to being disciplined.


Most penalties that have been handed out to owners over the years have come in the form of either fines or submission of certain draft picks. While it has never been executed before in NFL history, the most severe possible penalty that is allowed to be handed out is forcing an owner to sell the team.

NFL general counsel Jeff Pash just confirmed for me what Roger Goodell said he believed to be true—League bylaws say that NFL owners can in fact vote another owner out and force him/her to sell.Didn’t have complete clarity on the procedure but the rule is on the books.

What is required to force an NFL owner to sell their team?

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder
Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to call for a vote in an attempt to force an owner to sell their team. The commissioner would have to be the one to initiate the process, which would then be followed by all of the owners casting a vote on whether or not they believe a forced sale should be implemented. For the vote to officially pass, 24 owners would have to be in favor of a forced sale.

"I'm told for the first time ever there is a sense among ownership that the time may have come for Daniel Snyder to move on." -- @ProFootballTalk report on eroding NFL support for Commanders owner.

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder is the first ever to be facing this situation. After years of many different allegations, including a toxic work environment, sexual misconduct, and financial fraud, his days as an owner could potentially be running out. It may be a tall ask for 24 owners to vote Snyder out, especially since he has threatened to "expose them" if they do.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Commanders and if history will be made in this instance.

Edited by John Maxwell


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