A Jon Gruden lawsuit against the NFL may be what’s best for business

Legal battle could force release of emails the league seems to be intentionally concealing

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We’re just here for the discovery.
We’re just here for the discovery.
Image: Getty Images

As many suspected a few weeks ago when the story broke, the Jon Gruden email leak isn’t the last we’ve heard of the former Las Vegas Raiders head coach. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Gruden is considering taking legal action against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Oh, don’t you just love it when the shit-starter turns around and plays victim once the spotlight is cast back on them? I’m not even opposed to Gruden going to battle in court with Goodell and the league. Should Gruden and his legal team choose this route, this could be the best way for the rest of those emails to come out.

For Gruden to follow in the footsteps of the late Al Davis, who once sued the NFL, it would likely mean he’s come to grips with his life as an NFL personality being finished if it wasn’t already. Not long after his resignation, Gruden received a call from Maggie Burbank, a producer for HBO’s Real Sports Podcast, and told her, “the truth will come out.” Precisely what that means is anyone’s guess, but the most likely answer to this riddle is that the “truth” has something to do with those other 650,000 emails the NFL desperately wants the world to forget about.


Gruden knows the release of more of these emails, which could implicate more high-ranking league officials, owners, and coaches, would be a storm the league has no desire to weather. I disagree with the hate Gruden spewed in his emails, and it doesn’t matter that they were from a decade ago. If he felt that way at age 48, there’s a high probability he feels the same way at 58. Screw what he says after the fact. His actions have already spoken for him.

We know for sure that there are a lot more emails connected to this story that the NFL will fight tooth and nail to not have them released for public consumption. And I’d be willing to bet many of them are worse than anything Gruden said. I have no way of knowing this, but I’d guess many of these unreleased emails include the name Colin Kaepernick. I know his name is a trigger word for many of you, but like NFL owners, you’ll just have to get over that. The league settled with Kaepernick and Eric Reid, and it wasn’t to benefit the former players. There is usually lots more behind the curtain of any settlement that doesn’t reach the light of day. And that happens for strategic reasons, not because defendants are particularly interested in opening their checkbooks.


There is something that could dampen a Gruden attempt at getting his revenge on Goodell and the league. Since Gruden settled his claim against the Raiders, he may have signed a general liability release agreement. If so, this could restrict any new claims he might make against the NFL pertaining to this matter.

So, for now, we must wait and see what happens next. This whole situation between Gruden, Goodell, and the league is far from over, and it could drag out for years if any legal action is taken. Gruden has plenty of options where things currently stand, and plenty of claims he could possibly make against the league.


You don’t have to be in favor of Gruden, the person, where this is concerned. But this might be the public’s best chance to find out what those other emails contain and just how far this rabbit hole leads. And that’s the hidden gem we’re really looking to uncover here.