Rothman is the chairman and CEO of Black Diamond Capital, a private investment company. Schar is chairman of NVR Inc., the country’s fifth largest housing builder.
Smith is president, CEO and CEO of FedEx, which in 1999 signed a 27-year $ 205 million naming rights for what is now called FedEx Field.
Among them, they represent about 40 percent of Redskins ownership. They are also the only members of the team̵
None of the minority owners could be reached for comment on Sunday.
A Redskins spokesman said the team had no comment.
Minority owners’ bid to sell their shares comes as the Redskins organization tries to move on from the most controversial aspect of its legacy, announcing on Friday that it started a study of the team’s name, which many have long been a rascal. This study, according to people familiar with the NFL’s work, is expected to result in the announcement of a new name and logo, possibly before the start of the 2020 season.
On Thursday, FedEx became the first major corporate supporter for the Redskins to encourage the team to change their name. It did so via a statement with a sentence that read “We have notified the Washington team of our request that they change the team name.”
Within 24 hours, Nike, PepsiCo and Bank of America acknowledged that they also felt that the name should change, increasing the financial and political pressure on Snyder.
Despite indications that the Redskins are ready to make that change – a significant first step if Snyder hopes to build a new stadium at the RFK Stadium site in the district – his fellow lawmakers would probably opt out rather than move forward.
Pro Football Talk first reported on Sunday that Smith and Schar were trying to sell their interests to the team.
Three-time Super Bowl champion Redskins is the seventh most valuable franchise in the 32-team NFL, worth $ 3.4 billion, according to Forbes latest NFL team ratings published in September 2019.
The $ 5.5 billion Dallas Cowboys are the league’s most valuable franchise.
Any sale of a Redskins stake must be controlled by the NFL’s Finance Committee and then ratified by the owners of the league’s other teams.
A 10 to 15 percent stake in the Redskins would be worth between $ 340 million and $ 510 million, based on Forbes estimate of 2019, which preceded the new coronavirus pandemic that is expected to impact the values of all professional sports franchises in the United States.
If Rothman, Schar and Smith find buyers for their respective shares in the Redskins, they would be the second set of business partners that Snyder has cycled through during his 21-year tenure as the team’s owner.
Snyder bought the Redskins in May 1999 as part of a three-member ownership group that included publishing magnate Mortimer Zuckerman and publisher Fred Drasner. A few months later, in December 1999, Zuckerman sold his approximately 15 percent of the team to Snyder.
Drasner divested a few years later.
Rothman, Schar and Smith bought their shares in 2003.
According to a person familiar with the relationship between Snyder and the team’s minority owner, Smith’s interest in divestment would be particularly difficult for Snyder to accept.
“Dan admires and idolizes Fred Smith,” the person said.