|Washington Redskins Ownership
the death of beloved and legendary Redskins owner Jack Kente Cooke
in 1997, the Redskins ownership went into the hands of the Cooke
estate, with the Redskins franchise to be sold and the profits to be
for the Cooke Foundation. In 1999, through an NFL bidding process,
the group of Howard Milstein and Daniel Snyder won with the highest
bid. With financing and debt questions ruining the Milstein bid,
Howard Milstein withdrew the bid, realizing that the NFL ownership
would reject the sale of the franchise under the debt structure that
Subsequent to the withdrawal of the Milstein bid, Daniel Snyder
submitted a separate, independent bid of
Milstein, along with partners Fred Drasner, Co-Publisher of the NY
Daily News and CEO of US News and World Report, Mort Zuckerman,
Publisher of the US News and World Report and Chairman of NY Daily
News, Fred Smith, Chairman of FEDEX, and Snyder's father Gerry
Snyder and sister Michele Snyder. The purchase was for $800
million, making it the highest purchase price ever to be paid for a
professional sports franchise.
started Snyder Communications, a multi-billion dollar company in
1985, and built it into a worldwide leader in direct marketing and
advertising. Snyder Communications grew to a global
advertising power, with offices in 16 countries, a total of 77
offices, and over 12,000 employees. Snyder sold Snyder
Communications shortly after purchasing the Redskins in one of the
largest Marketing/Advertising sales in history.
his ownership of the Washington redskins, Snyder serves as Chairman
of Ventiv Health Inc. and owns significant stake in Six Flags
Amusement Parks and was selected as Chairman of Six Flags.
1999, the NFL ownership council unanimously approved the sale to the
Snyder led group. Snyder became the majority owner and effectively
the fourth owner in Redskins franchise history. In 2000,
part-owner, media mogul Mort Zuckerman sold his stake to the
majority group of Snyder/Drasner, furthering solidifying Snyder's
stake in the Redskins. After purchasing the shares Drasner owned of
the Redskins, Daniel Snyder and the Snyder family are sole owners of
the most valuable franchise in professional sports. Snyder's sister
Michele Snyder is a minority partner. Snyder's father, Gerry Snyder,
passed away a few years ago.
just 34 years old when he purchased the Redskins, got off to
a fast start, changing leadership and many employment
positions inside Redskins Park, earning criticism from a
skeptical media. Despite the bad publicity, Snyder was
named owner of the year in 1999 by Sport Magazine. He also
immediately started giving back to the community by forming
a business charitable partnership that helps provide funding
for vital community projects, The Redskins Leadership
Council. The ownership group also purchased a franchise in
the Arena football league for Washington DC that will begin
play in 2003, that debt was recently retired. Snyder is
actively involved in the management of the National Football
League and serves on the Broadcasting Committee and the
Venture Committee of the NFL Owners.
ownership was marred by media attacks on his leadership and
ownership style. He was branded with the likes of
George Steinbrenner and Al Davis, a manipulative owner who
can not keep his hands off the team, and who's interference
has consistently set back the Oakland Raiders organization.
Snyder's decisions at times have been questionable and his
business acumen have caused a media frenzy of Snyder
bashing. His firing of 30 employees upon completion of
the sale of the team, the subsequent firing of GM Charley
Casserly, the dismissal of HC Norv Turner during the 2000
season, and the signing of big free agents like Bruce Smith,
Jeff George, and Deion Sanders, further produced negative
media coverage. Deserved or not, Snyder carried on with
team business, never allowing the sharp tongued media to
interfere with his decision making processes.
Following the 2000 season, Snyder brought NFL veteran Head Coach
Marty Schottenheimer to Washington and turned the front office
reigns over to Schotty. Perhaps for the first time, Snyder made a
contract he knew he could not live with. Following the 2000 season,
that saw the Redskins finish 8-3 in the final 11 games, Snyder
attempted to renegotiate parts of Schotty's contract to allow Snyder
more say and involvement in personnel based decisions.
At the same time,
news was breaking that Florida Gator's successful Head Coach Steve
Spurrier was preparing to leave the University of Florida and give
his famous Fun-N-Gun offense a try in the National Football League.
With common knowledge that Spurrier had already tried to lure
Spurrier before the hiring of Schottenheimer, Snyder, citing
Schotty's infelxibility, fired him and quick threw a 5 year deal for
$25 million to Steve Spurrier. Snyder single handidly provided
the richest NFL Head Coach contract in league history.
2003 off-season brought back the original Dan Snyder with a twist.
Snyder may have spent a ton of money in the off-season to build up
the Spurrier team, but he did in a different way than the ill-fated
2000 venture. Snyder, allowing right hand man Vinny Cerrato to take
the task, acquired numerous free agents and shook the NFL foundation
by pursuing and opening up the restricted free agent market.
However, this time Snyder went for free agents that were still
headed to their prime, and went cheaper, allowing the Redskins to
fill most holes from 2002, via free agency. Despite a roster
overhaul, the Spurrier Fun-N-Gun system was simply not meant for the
NFL, and produced a dismal 12-20 record.
Fate then took
a stunning turn for the Washington redskins, the Fans, and
the Franchise when Snyder announced that Spurrier was
resigning and dropping the bombshell that he lured Redskins
Legendary HC Joe Gibbs out of retirement. The stunning
return of Gibbs was at the same cost of 5 years for $25
million. The move elevated Snyder in the minds of most
Redskins fans, but more importantly, showed that Snyder had
grown up as a franchise owner, not only naming Gibbs Head
Coach, but Team president, stepping aside and allow Gibbs
the opportunity to restore the Franchise to greatness.
After a 30 player roster turnover and a 6-10 first season
under Gibbs, Snyder finally got to realize his long reached
dream of returning to the playoffs, as Gibbs posted a 10-6
record in 2005 and led the Redskins to their first playoff
berth since Snyder became owner in 1999. The Redskins
franchise is clearly on a positive upswing, thanks to Daniel
Snyder's and his move to bring back the great Joe Gibbs!
||Period of Ownership
||1999 - Present
|Jack Kent Cooke Estate
|Jack Kent Cooke
|George Preston Marshall