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Jon Gruden’s recent work with Saints shouldn’t impact his lawsuit

Josh McDaniels says that he "has no anxiety" about Jimmy Garoppolo's foot injury, but Mike Florio and Myles Simmons don't buy it because Garoppolo is missing crucial time to connect with his new receivers in Las Vegas.

Companies that face potential liability for alleged misdeeds directed at employees will often throw everything they have at minimizing any eventual obligation. As the NFL defends itself against a lawsuit filed by former Raiders coach Jon Gruden, an interesting argument has emerged regarding the potential impact of Gruden’s recent work with the Saints on his case.

As argued by attorney Dan Lust, via A.J. Perez of, Gurden’s ability to secure short-term work with the Saints undercuts the argument that Gruden’s reputation “isn’t so damaged that he’s unable to work alongside or with other NFL teams.”

A short-term stint aimed at helping former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr make the transition to a new offense and a new team hardly operates as a palate cleanser for Gruden’s coaching career. It’s possible Gruden didn’t even get paid for his temporary visit to Saints offseason practices.

Gruden remains radioactive, both for NFL and college jobs. Of course, the problem traces not to the alleged misconduct of the NFL but the emails he sent. Someone, however, weaponized those emails with the apparent goal of taking Gruden out. Gruden was wrong, but whoever used those emails against him was wrong, too.

Thus, regardless of whether Gruden does or doesn’t get another job, the question at trial will be whether a jury can compartmentalize Gruden’s behavior and the league’s behavior. Or the behavior of whoever it was who leaked the emails with the apparent goal of derailing his career.

Before the case ever goes to trial, Gruden will have to prevail in his effort to keep the case from being forced to arbitration. That issue currently is pending before the Nevada Supreme Court, with the NFL trying to hide behind the Commissioner’s authority to resolve issues involving conduct detrimental to the league -- even though no one from the league ever suggested that Gruden’s emails sent at a time when he wasn’t employed by an NFL team amounts to conduct detrimental to the league.