A Cheat Sheet for the Former Las Vegas Raiders Head Coach’s Potential Lawsuit Against Roger Goodell and the NFL

In a lawsuit filed in New York, the former head coach of Las Vegas says he’s been wrongfully fired by the NFL. The lawsuit alleges that Goodell and other NFL executives engaged in “egregious violations of law and their fiduciary duties to [the Raiders]”, which caused them “significant economic harm”.

The “raiders head coach” is a potential lawsuit against Roger Goodell and the NFL. The former Las Vegas raiders head coach is suing for defamation of character, claiming that the league did not properly investigate his claims of racial discrimination.

Highlights of the article:

  • Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, is allegedly contemplating suing the NFL.
  • After obscene emails he exchanged while working at ESPN were released, the 58-year-old quit in October.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about a possible lawsuit between Gruden and the NFL.

Jon Gruden, the fourth-year head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, resigned on Oct. 11 amid an email controversy, thereby ending his lengthy NFL career. That isn’t to say we haven’t heard from the 58-year-old in the past – far from it.

Gruden, who was with the Raiders for four years, is allegedly contemplating suing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league as a whole. The timing of the emails would be key to any future case.

According to reports, Jon Gruden is contemplating suing Roger Goodell and the NFL.


Jon-Gruden-Roger-Goodell-1024x655 Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, is allegedly contemplating suing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images; Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Let’s briefly go through the major events in the Gruden drama for context. The Washington Post released emails he made in 2011 in which he used a racist cliche against DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association’s president and a Black man. 

Even though Gruden returned to coaching two days later, he resigned when The New York Times released more of his emails, all of which were written while he was at ESPN and featured inappropriate language and substance. Those emails were discovered by investigators as part of the NFL’s inquiry into the Washington Football Team’s culture; Gruden sent them in talks with former Washington executive Bruce Allen.

According to CBS Sports, Gruden is considering his legal options, which include suing Goodell and the NFL for the way the emails were handled. The NFL has said that the emails were not leaked.

Gruden, who left halfway through a 10-year, $100 million deal, is reported to have lost around $50 million in future earnings, according to CBS Sports. Lawyers think Gruden may have a “tortious interference case,” according to Jason La Canfora, who claims the NFL “directed his departure for private emails written while he was not a league employee that were published at a time to inflict maximum harm on Gruden’s career.”

As of the time of publishing, Gruden has not filed or announced any form of action against the NFL.

The date of the emails would very certainly be at the focus of any litigation.

Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden in 2021.

Former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden in 2021. Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, has likely retired from the NFL | Getty Images/Chris Unger

Before we get into why Gruden would sue the NFL, it’s important to stress that this would not be a monetarily motivated choice. He would not pursue Goodell just to retrieve the $50 million owed to him.

Gruden admits to sending the emails, and he is unlikely to ever occupy another high-ranking post in the NFL. It’s not about getting back into the Raiders or even regaining his reputation. 

The problem is entirely with the emails. During the season, someone with access to the emails disclosed them to two separate news organizations. The NFL has also declined to release the entire results of the inquiry that led to Gruden’s departure, despite the fact that he never worked for the club whose culture prompted the probe.

According to CBS Sports, 650,00 emails were discovered. Lawyers would very probably question why just Gruden’s emails were exposed to the public, despite the fact that he sent them all before returning to the NFL in January 2018.

Gruden is unlikely to sue Mark Davis and the Raiders anytime soon.

Mark Davis, the owner of the #Raiders, expressed his displeasure with the NFL’s handling of Jon Gruden’s emails. “It’s a matter of timing.” According to him, the league may have known for months and that it would have been a lot simpler if the team had known sooner. Were they handled in an unjust manner? “We’re Raiders,” says the narrator. This is nothing new to us.”

October 27, 2021 — Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero)

If Gruden decides to sue the NFL, he would not be suing the Raiders. It’s crucial to understand the difference. Of course, the Raiders are one of the league’s 32 teams.

Gruden, on the other hand, is unlikely to pursue a second lawsuit against the Raiders. In October, Raiders owner Mark Davis stated that he had reached an agreement with his former head coach.

Davis, who took over the company after his father died in 2011, has been an outspoken proponent of the NFL releasing the formal conclusions of the Washington probe. The 66-year-old also slammed the timing, claiming that the NFL possessed the emails for months before they were disclosed.

RELATED: All-Pro Wideout Retires Former Coach Jon Gruden is defended by Andre Rison following offensive emails: ‘We’ve all made mistakes,’ says the speaker.

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