On Thursday, the Raiders played their first pre-season game in the first year of the Josh McDaniels era. This could have been the fifth year of Jon Gruden’s return to the team.
And yes, but as for emails leaked last October to the media, Gruden was still training the Raiders. It has survived three non-interval seasons. Given that interim coach Rich Bisachia took Gruden to the Wild Cards Tour after Gruden’s departure, Gruden would almost certainly have gotten there himself. And even if he hadn’t, it would have taken a lot more for owner Mark Davis to fire the man Davis has become more of a friend of than his boss.
Gruden’s agent, Bob Lamonte, recently spoke to Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com about, among other things, the former Bucs and Raiders coach. And Lamonte believes Groden will train again – most likely in the NFL.
“I really believe in my heart and soul that he will train again,” Lamonte said. “I would be very surprised if he didn’t. My question is what did John really do? Most people don’t want to look at their emails from 10 days ago. That’s why if this goes to trial, it would be devastating to the NFL.”
This is an ominous hint from Lamonte, which indicates that Gruden might try Good for the goose, good for the man The approach consists of looking at emails sent by others in and around the league from the past decade.
LaMonte said of the fact that a small number of emails Gruden sent to former Washington CEO Bruce Allen were leaked to the media at a time when everything else was related to the Daniel Snyder franchise investigation: “It wasn’t good for anyone” nor Still, it is largely hidden in secrecy. “That’s why he ended up suing the NFL and [Commissioner Roger] Goodell – Because everyone knows it was a mistake. You have 650,000 emails and six are selected for it. . . It wasn’t even in the league. He has triumphed in court and will reign again.”
Gruden won in court over the initial question of whether the case would be required for arbitration. No doubt the NFL will appeal that as often as they can, delaying the case not for months but for years. Ultimately, if the case remains in court, the identity of the leaker will be revealed. Although Gruden thought it was Goodell, others think it was Snyder. The world of potential suspects is small, because not many people had access to the information.
The fact that the emails had been leaked and the timing of their disclosure still seemed wrong, regardless of the fact that Groden’s language was bad enough to merit the result he tested. It shouldn’t happen the way it did, when it happened.
“He was in shock and I was worried about him when this first broke out because it was a bullet in the dark in the middle of the night,” Lamonte said. “I guess the hardest thing for him was in mid-October . . . . Supposedly all this information was known in August. Why now, of all things, that comes in an investigation that was already over?”
The information was already known, as we heard it, in June. Well pre-season enough to deal with him long before training camp opens, giving the Raiders a fair chance to replace Gruden and making the whole thing less surprising and dramatic for everyone involved.
LaMonte chose to take matters further than complaining about timing. Then it becomes very difficult to defend Gruden’s case.
“That was 10 years ago,” LaMonte said. “Then why Jon and why the Raiders? It wasn’t even in the league at the time of those emails… That’s the tragedy of that. You can say whatever you want, but if anyone really understands Jon, they know he’s not racist. That’s pretty obvious. No One could say that… the most important thing that made him call Roger Goodell was that he was a part of the female body he didn’t become. I think he made some bad comments about Glazers, but you have to realize that he had just been kicked out by Bucs and he thought he was On private emails. A lot of people when they get fired say bad things.”
Lamonte eventually used the same term former Raiders Radio announcer Brent Mossberger said last year when discussing the matter – Lamonte called it a “successful job” on Gruden.
“It took a heavy toll on him,” LaMonte said. “John will tell you he’s a boring guy. The guy watches movies all day, that’s what he does. He’s a football junkie and you took him from him. His family is destroyed, his wife answers questions, his son works on the team.”
It looks like Gruden still wants to work with one of the 30 teams other than the Buccaneers and Raiders.
“I think John looks younger, happier and better now,” LaMonte said. “He’s an infinitely rich person and the irony of this lawsuit is that everyone says he’s going to make a fortune, he doesn’t really need the money. All John Gruden wants is his life back — and he’s going to get it back.”
It’s still hard to imagine. Apart from the emails, he filed a lawsuit against the university and its commissioner. While it would be a legal wrong to retaliate against Gruden for this, there are very few master coaching positions and many qualified candidates. It would be very easy for the teams to get along with the 59-year-old coach.
Besides, let’s not lose sight of the fact that he struggled in the three years he spent with the invaders. It seems, in many ways, that the game has passed him by over a decade in the kiosk. All things considered, Lamonte’s assessment of Groden’s future appears to be more like wishful thinking than an accurate prediction of the future.