Sports | July 28, 2020 8:52 am

Can the Washington Football Team Overcome Dan Synder?

Washington has gone 142-193-1 during Snyder’s tenure as owner

Can Washington's NFL Franchise Overcome Team Owner Daniel Synder?
Owner Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins in 2017. (Al Pereira/Getty)
Getty Images

Over the next six weeks or so, we’ll be preparing for the kickoff of the 2020 NFL season on September 10 by attempting to answer the most important question facing all 32 of the league’s franchises in order of finish from worst to first. Today’s team, Washington

No. 31: The Washington Football Team
2019 Record: 3-13

Points For: 266 – Points Against: 435
Projected 2020 Over/Under Win Total: 5

If Washington’s NFL team was a normal professional sports franchise, football-related conversations in D.C. this offseason would have revolved around second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Picked 15th overall by Washington prior to last season, the 23-year-old quarterback did not impress during his rookie season and has already been labeled as a bust by many pundits.

The upcoming season presents Haskins — who was unable to finish his first win as a professional quarterback because he was celebrating in the stands instead of paying attention to what was happening on the field — with a chance to remove that label under the tutelage of first-time offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

Training camp should feel like a pressure cooker for Haskins, but thanks to all the hot water his team has landed in largely thanks to Washington owner Dan Snyder, he’s pretty much off the hook.

During the offseason, Snyder, who took over in Washington in 1999 and has spent the last two decades turning a respected organization into one of the worst in sports, has seen his team rocked by yet another sex scandal that will stain the franchise for years. Also, due to financial pressure — as opposed to actually wanting to do the right thing — the 55-year-old finally consented to retire the racial slur his franchise had proudly been using as a nickname in the face of constant protest from Native American individuals and groups who found it offensive.

During neither the handling of the scandal nor the announcement of the name change did Snyder do anything other than the bare minimum that was required of his position, which does nothing to inspire any hope that the team will be able to right the ship under his management.

The argument can certainly be made that the team’s off-field issues during his tenure — which also include the original sex scandal involving the team’s cheerleaders, an ugly dispute with a player about team doctors missing a cancer diagnosis and the ruining of rookie phenom Robert Griffin III — haven’t had a huge impact on the team’s on-field performance (Griffin being the exception). Regardless, it’s hard to overlook that Washington has gone 142-193-1 and failed to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs during Snyder’s reign. It’s also hard to remember an instance when, outside of Griffin’s rookie season, there was any sort of positive news that had to do with Snyder’s team, on or off of the field.

One positive move Snyder did make this offseason was to bring in veteran coach Ron Rivera. That may help matters, but at this point in time, it appears Washington’s football team will once again be battling its bungling owner in addition to the rest of the NFL once the season begins.

It is a fight that, to date, the team has lost.

Should Haskins lose his individual struggle and need to be replaced by either Kyle Allen, Steven Montez or possibly even Alex Smith if he is able to return from a gruesome 2018 injury, that should be the No. 1 story in town. But due to Snyder’s continuing presence in Washington and the malaise it has wrought, he will continue to be the focus of the spotlight until his fellow owners finally wise up and exercise their power to compel him to sell the team or face substantial financial fallout, the only way he’ll ever agree to such a move.