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Daniel Snyder’s lawyers claim he’s no longer under NFL restriction

Mike Florio and Peter King think Roger Goodell and the NFL hope to wait out Daniel Snyder and compel him to sell the Washington Commanders.

Last year, Commanders owner Daniel Snyder was suspended by the league. Unless he wasn’t. Now, that suspension has ended. Unless it hasn’t.

Via the Washington Post, the team’s lawyers claim that Snyder is “no longer under any NFL restriction” regarding his involvement in the team’s operations. The NFL declined to confirm or deny the statement from the team’s lawyers.

The league consistently has said that nothing has changed regarding Snyder’s role.

Here’s the relevant portion of the statement issued to the Post: “Dan Snyder agreed with the NFL that he would step away from day-to-day operations … for a limited period, and he is no longer under any NFL restriction related to his involvement with the team. That said, Jason Wright has, from day one, done such an outstanding job as Team President, that there has been little need for Dan to involve himself in the Team’s operations. Tanya also has been very engaged and hands on. . . . Tanya continues to represent the Team at NFL meetings as a committed, effective, long-standing co-owner, and one of the small group of women owners. That decision is, however, a decision made jointly by Tanya and Dan, and is not as a result of any requirement imposed by the NFL.”

It’s an issue of semantics, but the semantics are consequential. And it’s been part of an ongoing theme when it comes to the characterization of Snyder’s status.

When Snyder was initially placed into whatever status has previously occupied or currently occupies, there was a disagreement as to whether he did it voluntarily. There was a pissing match over whether Snyder needed Commissioner approval to return to his prior status.

In March, the Commissioner said that Snyder continues to not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the team. Soon thereafter, the Washington Times reported that he’d returned to that role. The league declined to comment on the report of defiance of the league office’s expectations.

By late June, when the Commissioner testified before the House Oversight Committee, the Commissioner added the key phrase “to the best of my knowledge” regarding Snyder’s activities, an acknowledgement of the possibility that his knowledge is incorrect.

Through it all, the league office continues to tiptoe on eggshells around Snyder. Maybe that’s because of the ESPN report suggesting that Snyder is protected by the “dirt” he has compiled on others. Maybe there’s another reason.

Regardless, the league has been looking the other way on Snyder for awhile. It’s hard to imagine how that would change, absent dramatic evidence of some sort of wrongdoing that strikes the average person as being beyond the pale. With a pair of ongoing investigations, maybe that’s coming.