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Ex-Falcons QB Reveals Thoughts on Washington Commanders Money Stealing Scandal: 'This Is About Trust'

Matt Schaub played 17 years in the NFL and knows how serious this could be for the league.

Just when we think we've hit the bottom of the barrel with the inner turmoil of the Washington Commanders franchise, the hole just gets deeper.

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Financial improprieties within the organization were reported and met with a strong denial of all accusations involved from the team.

Then, more specifically, the team was accused of skimming money intended to be shared with other teams within the NFL.

Even former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Schaub is commenting on the scandal in a recent tweet.

Now, a 20-page letter detailing the accusations has been released, and it's not pretty.

The letter, addressed from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to The Honorable Lina M. Khan, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, was written to, "share evidence of concerning business practices by the Washington Commanders uncovered during the Committee’s ongoing investigation into workplace misconduct at the team."

From that investigation, the Committee collected and delivered evidence it gathered from, "emails, documents, and statements from former employees," according to the letter. And that the information gathered, "Indicate senior executives and the team's owner, Daniel Snyder, may have engaged in a troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct that victimized thousands of team fans and the National Football League (NFL)."

The former employee central to the evidence presented is Jason Friedman, a former sales executive for the franchise, who first began working for the team in 1996 under previous owner Jack Kent Cooke.

Friedman's rise within the organization culminated with his holding the title of Vice President of Sales and Customer Service, until his separation from the franchise in October 2020.

According to the letter, "Mr. Friedman provided a detailed account of the Commanders' toxic work environment, culture of impunity, and lack of accountability by Commanders executives."

Friedman also revealed bad business practices which he says began before 2010, when the team started to experience financial hardships with attendance and sales plummeting.

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Perhaps the biggest new information provided in the letter involves the franchise's efforts to withhold money from profit-sharing systems within the NFL, and even worse, to fans owed money from the team.

"Mr. Friedman provided the Committee with information and documents indicating that the Commanders routinely withheld security deposits that should have been returned to customers," the letter states.

These deposits were made on multi-year leases for premium seats that the team started arranging with fans to help finance FedEx Field back in 1997.

Beginning under the guidance of Cooke, the intention was for the deposits to be refunded within 30-days of the lease expiring or renewal under a new lease agreement.

But, according to Friedman, when Snyder purchased the team in 1999 the organizational approach to these deposits changed and employees were instructed to place hurdles between fans who had paid these deposits and their ability to get the money back they were owed.

These practices allowed the team to keep substantial amounts of money that should have gone back to leaseholders - again, fans of the team - and were then funneled through misrepresented financial fees and other fabricated uses for the money that also allowed the team to keep the money for themselves instead of claiming it as profit that may have been shared with other NFL franchises.

"Those security deposits, per the terms of the contract, are refundable at the end of the contract provided that the licensee has met their obligations, i.e., paid their bill each year and not damaged their seat," Friedman told the Committee. "The team failed to properly refund those security deposits intentionally and took various steps to retain as much of that money as possible mainly by taking advantage of the passing of time."

This is really just the tip of the iceberg in the latest accusations made against the Washington Commanders and specific business and organizational practices under Snyder's ownership.

Encapsulated in this writing is less than five of the 20 pages worth of information, with even more pages describing deceitful business practices.

What's left is the image of an organization run with no care or regard for its personnel, other franchise owners, and the fans who so feverishly support the burgundy and gold through it all.