Analyzing uncertainties surrounding Commanders sale


I’m going to top the column today with news that’ll make sports fans in the Washington area weep tears of joy. They’re already weeping. Now, I know the Caps won the Stanley Cup in 2018, and that’s fantastic, and the Mystics won the WNBA a year later, and Nationals shocked the Astros to win the World Series in 2019. Yuge, all of them. But the pro football team in Washington being on the verge of NOT being owned by Daniel Snyder is cause for the biggest parade in the city this century.

On the verge being the operative wording. This thing’s not done.

When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the leader of the prospective new-owner group, Josh Harris, spoke on Wednesday, no one knew exactly what the topic was. But as one ownership source told me over the weekend, “Calls like that would be Harris saying he had a tentative deal with Snyder.” I believe that’s likely, and word spread through ownership circles that, basically, Ding dong, the witch is dead. Snyder’s selling!

The terms, reportedly, were the Harris-Mitchell Rales group paying $6.05 billion for the team and Snyder, the most reviled owner in the NFL, disappearing. By the weekend, the NFL was no-commenting up a storm, refusing to acknowledge even whether Snyder had communicated to the league that he had a tentative deal or had forwarded the requisite paperwork so the league could begin to process the deal. Adam Schefter reported that it wasn’t a done deal, that Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos was still in the mix. And the strangest part: It was widely reported Snyder’s deal with the Harris-Rales group was “non-exclusive,” meaning he retained the ability to barter with other potential buyers.

The hang-ups could rest on maximizing the sales price, of course. Or it could rest on Snyder wanting to be indemnified from any legal liabilities associated with his ownership, or it could rest on his insistence that the league not release the glacially slow investigation of Mary Jo White into the sordid ownership of Snyder and the team. As one ownership source told me: “Dan’s got no chance of quashing the report. Roger’s releasing that report, I’ll tell you that.”

Either way, it figures that Snyder couldn’t do anything peaceful on his way out. The uncertainty, after a quarter-century of bad ownership with a once-proud franchise, is more logical than illogical.

“Seems like we’re at the two-yard-line going in,” said one source with knowledge of the prospective sale over the weekend, “but with Dan, it’s never over till it’s over.”

Four points to consider:

Snyder, feeling abandoned by the NFL, really doesn’t care about the league anymore. He’s always thought owning the NFL franchise in Washington was a lifetime get-out-of-jail-free card. Now that he knows it isn’t, why should he do the league any favors by bowing out gracefully?

Lots of speculation about why Jeff Bezos didn’t make a serious offer, but I’ll give you the best reasons. Snyder hates The Washington Post, which Bezos owns, but forget about that for a moment. Think about this. The next team likely on the market in the NFL is the Seattle Seahawks. Under the terms of the Seahawks’ current ownership agreement, if the team is sold before May 2, 2024, 10 percent of the sale price would go to the state of Washington. Current owner Jody Allen, sister of late owner Paul Allen, would face handing over, say, $700 million if the team was sold for $7 billion, which is in the ballpark of the next NFL team sale, if she sells in the next 13 months. Why would she do that? She wouldn’t. The NFL is lobbying Bezos quietly, but hard, to buy a franchise. The advantages of buying the Seahawks are many: Seattle has a consistent winner with a great GM/coach team in John Schneider/Pete Carroll, Seattle has an incredible fan base, Seattle has a state-of-the-art loud home venue in Lumen Field, and Seattle has one of the best training facilities in pro sports. All four of those are far, far better than what Washington has. Why would Bezos not want Seattle if he’s serious about buying into the league that prints money?

I know why the NFL won’t comment on the process or on Snyder. They’re shut up so tight because all they want is for Snyder to go away, and they don’t want to leak anything that would potentially interrupt the transition of ownership.

For the record, Snyder has been the worst owner in the NFL for the last quarter-century of NFL history. The scandals are one thing, and they matter. But it’s how the scandals were handled and the besmirching of the team legacy and the endless badness that have turned off a top-five fanbase in NFL history, so that now a Washington fan simply will not care about pro football in the nation’s capital again until Snyder goes away. Here is everything you need to know about the reign of Snyder in Washington versus the tenure of the previous owner, Jack Kent Cooke:

If you’re a reader of a certain age, or a history student, you may remember Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon after Nixon resigned as president in 1974, and Ford saying in a famous speech in Washington: “Our long national nightmare is over.” The NFL’s long nightmare in Washington is close to over, but it won’t be until the petulant Snyder takes his $6 billion and goes home.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!