Washington Football Team's New Name May Have Been Leaked

The NFL's Washington Football Team is set to reveal its long-awaited new team name tomorrow, February 2.

Wednesday's big reveal will put an and to an 18-month quest to find a replacement for the team's controversial former name.

Team president Jason Wright announced at the beginning of the month, when the new name would be unveiled, and addressed some of the rumored names in the running.

Wright confirmed that the Washington Football Team would not be rebranding to one of the fan-favorite options of Wolves or RedWolves due to trademark conflicts with other existing organizations and teams.

In his announcement on the team website, Wright said: "Early on we understood Wolves—or some variation of it—was one of our fan favorites. We put Wolves on a list of options to explore fully.

"Once we began looking into Wolves, however, we became aware of a notable challenge: trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own."

Since announcing their rebrand in July 2020, speculations and rumors have accumulated over the franchise's possible new name.

Which Is the Rumored Favorite?

For the past year-and-a-half, the NFL franchise has been processing its rebranding while pundits, fans and bookmakers speculated on what the chosen branding is likely to be.

The team has attempted to consider fan preferences in the process, which Wright has described as a "marathon, not a sprint."

Among the options preferred were names such as Defenders, Armada, Red Hogs, Commanders, Presidents, and Brigade, as well as the option to maintain the standing Washington Football Team as the official name.

Following the team's announcement last month, bookmakers determined which of the options was lined up to be the likely winner.

Washington NFL name change
Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative, speaks at a press conference after meeting with senior officials of the National Football League about changing the mascot name of the Washington Redskins October 30, 2013 in New York. The Oneida Nation's "Change The Mascot" campaign had long been pressing the NFL to change the Washington team's name. Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

The status quo was favorite for PointsBet at 3-1, followed by Presidents (5-1), and Red Hogs (6-1).

Other options were ranked as follows: Defenders (8-1), Commanders (9-1); Armada, Admirals and Brigade at 12-1; ahead of Washington Washingtons and Washington George's (15-1); and Washington FC at 18-1.

Aggregator site OddsChecker listed no name change, alongside Redtails, (both 5-2) as the front-runners.

Renegades led the remaining options with 9-1 odds, followed by Presidents (10-1), Sentinels (12-1), Lincolns (12-1), Aviators (16-1), and Generals (20-1).

Leaked Name

Despite the odds, many believe the name change to be an open secret, with Commanders rumored to be the final decision.

Last week, eagle-eyed Twitter user Larry Legend found that the online domain name Commanders.com had been transferred to MarkMonitor, a company the NFL uses to manage most of the domain names for its teams and franchises.

Only six teams in the NFL have their domain names managed by a company other than MarkMonitor.

Additionally, Washington legend and former Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann is also believed to have accidentally confirmed the suspected name change.

Speaking on CBS Sports' radio program The D.A. Show yesterday, he said: "Commanders is a name that hopefully people will talk about going forward. 'Commanders' basically is Washington D.C. A lot commanders in Washington D.C., in the Pentagon and a lot of different branches of the service. So, to me, that's sort of the way I'm looking at it, as 'positions of leadership' when it comes to the naming.

Washington hats
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: Washington hats sit for sale at a sporting goods store on July 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. The franchised decided to scrap their old name in July 2020, following years of controversy at the name's racist connotations. The term "redskin" is a dictionary-defined racial slur for Native Americans. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Regardless of the imminent name change, the D.C. franchise will still play in its traditional burgundy-and-gold colors.

The franchise chose to drop its previous name, the Redskins, after decades of controversy and complaints due to the name's racist undertones. The decision to change the name came after the increased movement for social justice over the summer of 2020.

Washington was the first team in the U.S.'s four major professional sports leagues to forgo its Native American branding and imagery.

Cleveland's MLB team followed suit and has since rebranded as the Guardians, while the MLB's Atlanta Braves and the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks have opted to stand by their names, despite criticism.

Washington Football Team Celebrate
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 09: Bobby McCain #20 of the Washington Football Team celebrates after getting an interception with teammate Darryl Roberts #34 in the fourth quarter of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) Dustin Satloff/Getty Images