Colts’ Irsay isn’t ready to oust Snyder, wants discussion
IRVING, Texas (AP) — 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 in the Dallas. “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 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’s 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 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.”
On the field, 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.
Vincent, a former player, said ejections were part of a discussion about including roughing-the-passer calls and some other hits among reviewable plays.
Vincent brought up a roughing call against Miami’s Jaelan Phillips on Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert on Sunday night, saying officials erred in that decision.
Vincent also noted that roughing calls on the QB are down to 76 through 14 weeks from 121 at that point a year ago.
“The officials, I must say, have been pretty consistent with and very accurate when making that call,” said Vincent, the league’s vice president of football operations. “But they’re human.”
Any changes wouldn’t happen until the offseason, Vincent said, adding that any changes would have to be weighed against the length of games and other factors.
“It’s a personal foul and there’s a ton of fouls in that category,” Vincent said. “Where does it end? Again, the most impactful play in football is pass interference. Now we start including the personal foul. But that’s why we’ll discuss it. I’ll be looking forward to this discussion.”
Asked how realistic it would be for the NFL to adopt a rule similar to the targeting call in college, Vincent seemed skeptical. He said he was speaking more as a former player than as someone considering a rule change on the competition committee.
Vincent said the replay center should continue assisting in calls that have already been made, rather than deciding those calls.
The NFL made pass interference reviewable for only one season in 2019 before reversing that decision.
“I think chasing perfection is a dangerous place to go for the National Football League and, frankly, for officiating,” Vincent said. “And that’s what happens with the cameras, replay. You begin chasing perfection, which is not a good place for the game.”
— 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.
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