Irsay seeks more info before making Snyder call

IRVING, Texas — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Wednesday he isn’t ready to oust Daniel Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders and wants to discuss the possibility with other NFL owners.

Irsay said two months ago there was merit to removing Snyder amid several scandals and investigations into workplace misconduct with the Washington franchise. Additionally, a House Committee on Oversight and Reform report released last week was sharply critical of the team and the league’s handling of its issues.

“I’m not ready to vote him out,” Irsay said after attending the league’s December meetings. “I need to hear more of my partners talk. It’s been something where you want to get more information about everything is the key.”

Snyder’s status has been widely debated for years, and the league has been investigating allegations of sexual misconduct and financial impropriety.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday he hasn’t given attorney Mary Jo White a timeline for issuing her report. Goodell defended himself and the league against allegations in the House committee report that the NFL had misled the public over investigations of the Washington franchise and wasn’t holding people accountable.

“My name’s been on this from Day 1,” Goodell said. “There were comments about secret agreements. They’re not secret agreements. They’re legal documents that we explained.”

Daniel and Tanya Snyder revealed last month they are exploring a sale but didn’t indicate if any potential deal would be for all or part of the team. Irsay said there hasn’t been any update from the league on the Snyders’ intent in any sale.

“I think that’s something that’s certainly a better solution if it came to that,” Irsay said.

The Commanders shot back at Irsay’s comments in October, saying they were inappropriate and that he would see no reason for them to sell the team once he saw all the evidence.

Irsay said there has been no discussion of when the other 31 owners might meet alone to discuss the status of the Snyders. He said such a meeting without others present was his preferred forum.

“I said from the beginning, I was only interested in finding out more because there’s a lot of concern and there’s merit to look [at] that possibility,” Irsay said. “But I said give it consideration or look at it. I never said vote him out. It’s something that’s a big deal. We’ll see what the new year brings.”

Also discussed at the meetings Wednesday:

• The NFL is considering ejections for roughing-the-passer penalties and hits on defenseless players, although league executive Troy Vincent expressed caution on how such rulings would be enforced.

Any changes wouldn’t happen until the offseason, Vincent said, adding that they would have to be weighed against the length of games and other factors.

• The league said the Colts will have to open the hiring process for a coach after firing Frank Reich and replacing him with Jeff Saturday as interim coach even though the former Indianapolis center had no previous NFL coaching experience.

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, whose father, Dan Rooney, was namesake of the “Rooney Rule” promoting diversity in hiring for head coaches, said the league couldn’t control decisions on interim coaches but would require the Colts to follow those requirements after the season.

Irsay said he looked forward to the coaching search.

• Owners unanimously approved Buffalo’s 30-year lease for its $1.4 billion stadium, which is scheduled to be built across the street from the current facility in time for the 2026 season.

The Bills are in the midst of finalizing other parts of the agreement with state and county governments, which are committed to spending $850 million on the project.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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