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The new Washington Commanders ownership group may eventually change the team’s nickname, but it doesn’t appear to be a pressing issue at this point.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, there is “no timeline” for the Commanders to consider a possible name change.
The sale of the Commanders to a group led by Josh Harris was approved Thursday by a unanimous vote of the other NFL team owners.
While the nickname wouldn’t seem to be a high priority given all things Harris and co. the need to overhaul that comes after everything Dan Snyder has done over the past 24 years has been a key talking point in the two days since they took over.
Magic Johnson, who has a four percent ownership stake in the franchise, told NBC’s Craig Melvin tODAY that “everything is on the table” with the nickname, but any potential changes will likely wait until after the 2023 season.
Harris told fans and reporters during an introductory news conference Friday that the top priorities now are next season and building trust and connection with the fan base fueled by Snyder’s many issues over the years.
The NFL’s constitution and bylaws (h/t Scot Chartrand of Front Office Sports) typically require teams to wait five years to undergo a rebrand, except in some special circumstances involving a change in ownership.
Washington adopted the Commanders nickname in February 2022 after playing the previous two seasons as Washington’s football team. The franchise has not been able to trademark the Commanders name because the United States Patent and Trademark Office denied his application in May.
The USPTO denied it on the grounds that there is an existing trademark for the “Commanders Classic” used for the annual college football game between the Air Force and the Army, as well as pending applications filed by a man in the Washington, DC area.
Washington adopted the Commanders nickname in February 2022 after playing the previous two seasons as Washington’s football team.