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Could new name be beginning, not end, of changes in Washington?

Washington Redskins v Buffalo Bills

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Owner Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on November 3, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo beats Washington 24 to 9. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

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Many believed that Washington’s name would change only after Daniel Snyder sells the team. Now, some are wondering whether Washington’s name change will be a precursor to Snyder selling.

The recent story from the Washington Post regarding Snyder’s absence from the organization and reliance not on employees of the team but a small circle of friends speaks not to dysfunction but to disengagement. It’s reasonable to wonder whether that disengagement could lead, eventually, to divestiture.

It’s also reasonable to wonder whether Snyder’s partners would like to see a change at the top. Robert Rothman, Dwight Schar, and Fred Smith reportedly hold 35 percent of the team. On Thursday, Smith took a public shot at Snyder, a move which by all appearances sparked the kicking-and-screaming decision by Snyder to relent from his all-caps-never stance on a new name.

If Smith is willing to take that kind of extreme step publicly against Snyder, it’s reasonable to wonder what he, Rothman, and/or Schar may be doing privately -- not just to spark a name change but perhaps to grease the skids for Snyder to be gone.

Most fans of the team would welcome this development if it were to occur, since the 21 years of Snyder’s rule have seen a franchise that once won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks over a nine-year span become an also-ran, a non-contender, a bottom feeder that only periodically gets close enough to the surface to begin to see light.