Report: Jon Gruden considers suing NFL, Roger Goodell
Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden has resolved his differences with Mark Davis. Now, Gruden could be aiming higher.
Gruden is currently mulling his legal options regarding potential claims against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
PFT previously raised the question of whether Gruden would file a lawsuit alleging intentional interference with his contractual relationship with the Raiders, based on the fact that supposedly secret emails from the Washington Football Team investigation were used to take Gruden out. As one unnamed source told La Canfora, “This is anything but over.”
There’s one way that it could be over, however. In settling his claim against the Raiders, Gruden may have signed an agreement containing a general release of liability, which would include any claims he could make against the NFL. Usually, releases are written extremely broadly to secure the most encompassing range of protection against future claims possible, for as many related companies as possible. Since the Raiders are the league -- and would be involved to the tune of 1/32nd if the league is sued -- the release likely would need to have specific and precise language preserving Gruden’s rights against the league and/or Goodell.
La Canfora’s report does not mention whether language was added to the Raiders settlement documents to preserve Gruden’s future rights. If he’s considering a lawsuit over the release of the emails, it would be malpractice for his lawyer to not ensure that the release preserves his ability to sue the NFL and/or Goodell. Two years ago, concerns regarding the breadth of a release blew up the Colin Kaepernick workout that the league was organizing; the document supposedly was intended to apply only to the workout but it was arguably broad enough to waive any claims Kaepernick could make for ongoing collusion and retalation.
Here’s one thing to be confident about -- if the league has any legal leg to stand on regarding the argument that Gruden has released any and all claims against the NFL and Goodell, the league will pursue them aggressively.