Richard Sherman tries to downplay Jon Gruden’s tampering

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
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Earlier this week, Raiders coach Jon Gruden engaged in a blatant act of tampering with 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman. Gruden’s comments were made on camera, in a podcast interview.

Sherman predictably has tried to downplay the reality that Gruden committed a clear violation of the rules regarding the things that can be said about, and to, a player under contract with another team.

“All of this sports is just a big freakin’ reality TV show, as you know,” Sherman said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “But I think there’s legitimate interest. They have a good team. It’s going to be a conversation. There will be a conversation with a few teams and I’ll make the decision that’s best for me and my family, and off we go.”

Fueling Sherman’s belief that there’s interest is, obviously, the fact that Gruden (drum roll) said so.

“Richard Sherman, if you are a free agent, which there is a rumor you are, we are looking for an alpha presence in our secondary,” Gruden said on a podcast with Cris Collinsworth and Sherman. “If you’re available and interested, maybe you and I can get together at some point off air.”

The rules are clear: “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy.”

There’s no “joking” or “kidding” or “podcast host” or “big freakin’ reality TV show” exception to the rule. Gruden, who has been in and around the NFL for nearly 30 years, knows or should know the rules. He chose to disregard them.

If the rule won’t be applied in this specific case, the rule has no meaning. Indeed, nearly five years ago, the Chiefs lost a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick because Chiefs coach Andy Reid spoke directly to receiver Jeremy Maclin during the legal tampering window, which allows team to negotiate with agents but not to talk to the players they represent.

Here, Gruden spoke directly with Sherman weeks before the start of free agency. Gruden communicated his interest directly to Sherman. The fact that it happened on a podcast doesn’t excuse it. If anything, Gruden should have been extra careful when agreeing to appear on a podcast featuring a player who is under contract with another team and who is poised to become a free agent.

This isn’t Sherman’s fault. It’s not Collinsworth’s fault. It’s Gruden’s fault. And if the Raiders don’t lose a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick over this, the Chiefs should demand that they get theirs back.

39 responses to “Richard Sherman tries to downplay Jon Gruden’s tampering

  1. Gruden’s bad boy approach to coaching is going to end up costing the team untold amounts.

  2. Saying all these goings on are tantamount to a reality TV show is in no way downplaying anything. If anything, it’s upscaling it a bit. Of course it’s a violation

  3. “Gruden, who has been in and around the NFL for nearly 30 years, knows or should know the rules. He chose to disregard them.”

    —-

    Um, yeah. This is Jon Gruden we’re talking about here.

  4. Gruden in Vegas is a failed experiment. They are going to be a perpetual 7-9,8-8,9-7 team just good but never enough to get over…

    He never learns , blames the players for things he’s responsible for and does things like this

  5. Could be the start of a bad situation if this is gone unnoticed by the league. Next year every team will be calling free agents to be soon as the regular season ends.

  6. Could be the start of a bad situation if this is gone unnoticed by the league. Next year every team will be calling free agents right after the regular season ends.

  7. That’s ok. When they trade Carr for the two firsts they are expecting, they will just demand a 3rd and a 6th as well. So. Carr for 2 1sts, a 3rd and a 6th. Sounds about right. Raider Logic.

  8. What a disaster Gruden is. But I hope the Raiders keep him so that he doesn’t get another on-air job.

    Yes, the Raiders definitely should be penalized for this blatant tampering, but much more so Gruden himself. The League’s Anti-tampering Policy allows for individual fines or unpaid suspensions. Aside from the losses of draft picks levied on the Chiefs, Andy Reid got a $75K fine for talking directly to a guy he was only allowed to talk to indirectly. That seems a much lesser offense than Gruden’s, so I hope Gruden gets a fine of at least a few multiples of Reid’s.

  9. Tampering rules need to be enforced. The integrity of the League has to be upheld. This is a clear violation, albeit entertaining. I think the NFL needs to move quickly.

  10. Should be at least a 3rd round pick and I think they fined the Chiefs like a million dollars.

  11. It is hard to believe a coach could be so stupid….violate the rule with red lights and sirens going off so nobody can possibly miss it. So stupid that it almost seems intentional… so he can maintain the “bad boy” image he thinks he has. Sorry Raider fans but there go the draft choices….

  12. Big deal he gets fined. How much goes on behind the scenes? Free agency and the salary cap seems to always have the same teams never getting close to spending to the ceiling and other close or over. Maybe some veteran players should be salary cap exempt to allow them to stay with the team they want and provide continuity.

  13. Gruden refuses to abide by clear cut rules. Suspend him, no game checks, and take away draft picks.

  14. Meanwhile, Mark Davis, the most clueless owner in NFL history, will probably extend Jon Boy for reasons known only to himself.

  15. Maybe he’s really stupid enough to think free agency has already begun. After hearing him trying to be a commentator every week on TV, it’s pretty obvious he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    Still, ignorance is not an excuse. Both he and the team need to be fined heavily and stripped of draft picks.

  16. First, it was hilarious, second hypothetically he used the word “if”.

    You have to admit, it’s incredibly funny.. you are crazy if you don’t think this happens all the time. What happens when you run into a player at a restaurant…. I love that garlic crusted chicken, Richard, you know. You should try las Vegas if you really like it… wink wink.

  17. Surprising that Chuckie would go there, considering how diligent he is about following other league rules like COVID…uhh never mind

  18. Most overrated head coach in the history of this game. Road Tony Dungy’s defense to a Superbowl win against his former team that didn’t change any of the play calls or cadences from when he was there the year before.

    He also has a career win percentage of 50.8. Let’s take a look at some head coaches that have a better career win % than that:

    Jeff Fisher, Steve Mariucci, Jim Fassel, Art Shell, Marvin Lewis, Jim Mora Sr., John Fox, Dennis Green, Jason Garret, Wade Phillips, Mike Zimmer

    Murderer’s Row of head coaching excellence right there. Just because you won a ring as a head coach doesn’t automatically make you a great coach. (see Doug Pedersen, Mike McCarthy, Brian Billick)

    Gruden = Garbage

  19. Kind of amazing that he’s still in-demand at this stage of his career, playing on two repair Achilles and several years past being a top player. If he wasn’t a big name he’d have been out of the league a couple years ago already.

  20. Gruden can tamper, sign several high profile free agents, have multiple first round picks and the raiders will still finish sub .500 .

  21. Grudens record since winning the Super Bowl with Dungy’s players is 64-80. H is so overrated

  22. Honest question: If Sherman is indeed a free agent, then how does Gruden’s comments construe tampering? What am I missing here?

  23. I Live In Field Goal Range says:
    February 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm
    Honest question: If Sherman is indeed a free agent, then how does Gruden’s comments construe tampering? What am I missing here?

    ————————————————————–

    Free agency officially starts on March 17th at 4PM EST. Anyone who speaks with a player under contract with another team is in violation of the tampering rules.

    Hand them picks over Chucky!

  24. I Live In Field Goal Range says:
    Honest question: If Sherman is indeed a free agent, then how does Gruden’s comments construe tampering? What am I missing here?
    ==

    Richard Sherman is NOT indeed a free agent, and won’t be until his contract officially expires at the start of the new league year in mid-March. Until then, he remains the property of the 49ers and cannot be contacted by another team.
    What’s the big deal, you ask? After all, everyone knows Sherman is a shadow of his former self and the Niners likely don’t want him back. Even if they do, he remains a prime candidate to become a salary cap casualty.
    But what if it were a younger, more high-profile player still under contract? If the NFL turns a blind eye to Gruden blatantly and publicly thumbing his nose at league rules it will have set a bad precedent, opening the door to more serious instances of tampering.
    A rule is a rule and must apply to all. Gruden knowingly and gleefully broke it and should be held accountable.

  25. The 49ers forfeited a 5th and were forced to swap 3rds with the bears for speaking to Lance Briggs’ agent after his last game but before free agency in 2008. Goodell was the commissioner then.

  26. Gruden lost it a long time ago. Why he gave up the cushiony job to go back into the grind is nuts. Perhaps he was convinced the Raiders were a break out team that just needed his guidance. I cannot fathod he came there to be part of a rebuild.
    The team isnt all that bad but I’m not sure of the QB. I question whether he is the weak link or Gruden is.

  27. OK I read his statement and its pretty cleaver in that Gruden is saying “if” you are a free agent as “rumor” has it. Wow I dont see that as tampering.

  28. ImaPayne says:
    OK I read his statement and its pretty cleaver in that Gruden is saying “if” you are a free agent as “rumor” has it. Wow I dont see that as tampering.
    ==

    If you make it known to a player you covet his services while he’s still under contract to another team, it’s tampering. Period. Trying to disguise it as a joke, or being cleaver(sic), doesn’t alter that fact.

  29. This, folks, is what you get for 10 yrs and 100 million dollars. Jealous yet? Eye Roll.

  30. Al thumbed his nose at the NFL because he had some power and influence and money. Gruden is strictly an employee of the NFL and he is just going to hurt the franchise by getting draft picks taken away and whatever else they do. It’s stupid and it’s not helping the team or the franchise. Granted, they haven’t drafted well, but we need those lottery tickets when you’re making Cle Ferrell the #4 pick…

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