Bruce Allen’s emails reveal close relationship with Jeff Pash

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Well, now we know why NFL general counsel Jeff Pash declined a request to be interviewed by PFT.

Former Washington president Bruce Allen’s wide range of contacts included one of the league executives who directly report to Commissioner Roger Goodell. Via the New York Times, Allen regularly exchanged emails with NFL general counsel Jeff Pash.

While the exchange contained none of the sexist, racist, transphobic, and/or homophobic content found in former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s emails with Allen, the Allen-Pash interactions depict a relationship that a high-level league executive shouldn’t have with an executive of any specific team. For reasons inherently and entirely competitive, the league should (in theory) keep all teams no closer or farther than arm’s length.

“Communication between league office employees and club executives occurs on a daily basis,” NFL Executive V.P. of Communications Jeff Miller told the Times in a statement. “Jeff Pash is a respected and high-character N.F.L. executive. Any effort to portray these emails as inappropriate is either misleading or patently false.”

Rumors of Allen and Pash having an e-penpal relationship had swept through the league in recent days. Its existence possibly explains the league’s decision to bury the evidence of the Washington Football Team investigation, and to persistently refuse to release any of the 650,000 emails collected during the probe.

Other than, you know, the Gruden emails and now the Pash emails.

The issues from the Allen-Pash relationship are more subtle and nuanced than the Gruden flamethrowers. Pash seemed to be helping Allen in ways that a neutral league office arguably shouldn’t, from rescinding fines to downplaying other issues for which other teams (like, say, the Patriots) would have received no extra consideration or deference.

As to players who are looking at the release of these emails and wondering whether and to what extent they expose the true and authentic attitudes held toward them by high-level members of the NFL, look no farther than Pash’s flippant response to an email from Allen in which he said he’s “trying to lower a player’s salary at the moment.”

Said Pash: “The Lord’s work.”

Consider that one for a second. The top lawyer for the NFL believes it’s honorable and just and appropriate for a team to exercise leverage against any given player in order to get him to take less money. While not as gross or blatant as the things Gruden said, some may find Pash’s words to be nearly as troubling.

43 responses to “Bruce Allen’s emails reveal close relationship with Jeff Pash

  1. Release the emails to the players association and it’s staff. Let them decide what should be released. I wonder why Snyder never lost his team.

  2. Oh what a tangled web they weave. I’ll admit I wondered if, barring any further release of material if this would slowly disappear as an issue as the season drew everyone’s attention. Nope. The NFL has some real issues on its hands at the executive level in addition to their fight in St Louis. Pash sounds far from unbiased, and THAT will lead to some teams, some owners perhaps being inclined to make this messier and not just keep quiets d have a unified front to media. The NFL is obsessed with PR, and the bottom line. This may cause a big enough mess on the first front to conceivably be damaging to the second in some fashion.

  3. Could be an interesting Sunday this December in Las Vegas. The WFT plays the Raiders. Will Dan Snyder be up there sitting in his owners box? The owners suites at Allegiant are extremely close. And I’m sure those drunk fans will be cordial to Dan. Anyway, might an interesting scene.

  4. I believe the NFL is a business. A business that negotiates with a player’s union and individual players. Of course on some issues the league office might assist league members with advice when negotiating with players.

  5. The officials blatant bad calls the cost one team or the other the game is much more important that that. Let’s get to the bottom of the repulsive officiating.

  6. The NFL, the league office,the commissioner, every GM, every official, every single coach and every team employee all exist for one reason: To put more money in the owners’ pockets. Period. Full Stop.
    There is no wall separating the league office and team executives. They are all on the same side. Their professional purpose is 100% the same.
    Surely you aren’t naive enough to think otherwise.

  7. I don’t find that comment troubling at all.
    That’s part of the job of a president of an NFL team, isn’t it? Manage the cap? And getting overpaid players to accept less is part of that.
    The comment just means “Yep – you are just doing your job”

    Now if he was revealing the player identity or insinuating said player deserved it due to race or religion then it would be troubling.

  8. D Basa says:
    October 14, 2021 at 11:26 pm
    Is this how the WFT was able to become such a perennial league powerhou … oh wait.

    HAHAHA Best comment on the internet today! You would think WFT was getting any sort of advantage from this so called relationship.

  9. Just another example of sports being ruined by lawyers and big business corporate entities.

  10. ” I wonder why Snyder never lost his team.”

    We don’t either. We’ve been praying for it for decades. The WFT fans.

  11. “look no farther than Pash’s flippant response to an email from Allen in which he said he’s “trying to lower a player’s salary at the moment.”

    Said Pash: “The Lord’s work.””

    So in other words, collusion?

  12. Seems like the more emails released the more likely the NFL will become Not For Long. Not sure if this is good or bad.

  13. If this is what we are going to do, pour over people’s private email communications, everybody’s emails should be released to friends, family members, co-workers, bosses, subordinates. Does anyone out there want that level of transparency in their email history? The answer; very few people could withstand that. Yet, we are making judgements on specific people based on a transparency that is only being applied to them.

  14. Please PFT do not drop this and keep up the excellent reporting. We need to know what the NFL is hiding

  15. The Gruden and Gruden-Allen emails were wrong and displayed really awful thinking. I don’t see the point on this one. This sounds like normal boss speak that goes on around the world all day long. Some bosses try to reduce costs for their organization by interceding with regulatory figures and screwing over line employees? Not shocked by this at all. Not sure the point of all this other than to try to tie somebody in the League office to the Gruden emails.

  16. Roger Goodell is employed by the owners. The owner’s representatives talk to their employees all the time. It’s common to have open and cordial relationships. The league office usually has a few team reps that have been in the business for a long time, and they exchange ideas regularly. Carmen Policy was very close to Paul Tagliabue. They were Georgetown Law School buddies. Carmen got him the job. They talked all the time. It’s completely norm. Allen is the type of guy who could be the commissioner some day. What are we doing here?

  17. I don’t find this all that surprising. Upper level executives don’t feel they need to play by any rules and I’m sure felt that they could be “objective” if they needed to be. And of course they want to pay the players as little as possible, it’s a business and businesses use any and every excuse to pay employees less.

  18. Love NFL games. Hate the NFL. These emails show it is time to burn it all to the ground. That said, it was clear why the Gruden emails got out – or at least you could understand the league wanting to use them to force him out (though why now, so long after the WFT cover-up – I mean, investigation – is a question). But the Pash emails? Releasing those embarases the league office – if the office wanted Pash out, they could have just showed him the emails, said “this is not acceptable” and ask him to resign and he would have knowing that the league was willing to leak other emails to get Gruden. So why did these get out? Is it maybe that we have an employees who is leaking the information without authority/knowledge/blessing of leadership because they are on a personal crusade to right some serious wrongs revealed in the WFT email traunch?

  19. As a WFT fan I am disgusted and disappointed. Disgusted because the team I grew up loving (owned by Jack Kent Cooke) has become so thoroughly corrupt. Disappointed because by all rights, Snyder should be forced to sell the team, so that D.C. fans can one day hope for a worthy team to root for once more.

    The Pash emails confirm what many of us intuitively knew to be true: the league is largely complicit in the wrongdoings happening with the WFT. But should this shock anyone? The NFL knew about concussion impact long ago and stayed silent/inactive on that too. They are no better than the tobacco companies who knew about lung cancer but kept silent so they could protect wealthy owners and make more profits.

    IT’s all the same thing with different details. “Rich man’s justice.”

  20. I think this is just the beginning. Outside pressure has ben applied and now a 2nd person will be stepping away from their job. The league is going to fins a few more people to shine a spotlight on and force into early retirement hoping that it will all go away.

  21. Lets be honest here if a deep investigation were to be done on every team in this league it would show all types of corruption within league officials/owners etc. The question is why are people acting shocked or surprised? Seems to me incredibly naive that these multi million even billion dollar teams in this monopoly of an organization isn’t riddled with corruption.

  22. In the mid-90s a bunch of bull-riding cowboys sick of being yanked around and shortchanged by the PRCA formed the PBR so they could get a better cut of the gate based on the fact they were the reason people came and that they were the ones putting their lives at risk. It took less than ten years for them to outdraw the PRCA.

    Wondering how realistic it would be for something similar to happen here, in the event labor relations get uglier.

  23. “Pash seemed to be helping Allen in ways that a neutral league office arguably shouldn’t” Since when is the league supposed to be neutral?? The teams (owners) fate is directly attributed to the leagues success. It is no ones best interest for an NFL Franchise to be a mess…. of course the League is going to help to stabilize any franchise. Case in point, isn’t the Washington franchise in a much better state of affairs than it was just a few years ago??? That is due, in part, to the league assistance. Let’s get back to football now!!!

  24. The people who constantly complain about how much the players are paid will enthusiastically support Pash’s comment.

  25. The Pash angle is far worse with regard to the NFL as an entity. Gruden’s emails, as bad as they were, appear to be of a personal nature. The Pash emails speak to the corruptness of the NFL, which as organization that enjoys an anti-trust exemption, should be more than above reproach.

  26. Fun Fact: The Owners aka The League and the players aka The Workers are NOT on the same side.

  27. None of this can be good for the NFL, what’s next? Revelations that the games are fixed like pro-wrasslin’?

  28. Really shows how insular the NFL is. Bruce Allen never rises to power if his father hadn’t been George Allen. He was outright terrible at his job and roundly hated by basically everybody who dealt with him. Yet, thanks to his name he enjoyed amazing amounts of power in the league for decades.

  29. The can of worms has been opened, probably leaked by the same 3rd party firm who the NFL hired to comb through all those emails in the first place. You reap what you sow. Now they need them to find something that burns Goodell so he has to resign.

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