The lawsuit filed this week by a San Diego taxpayer seems to be susceptible to dismissal based on the various applicable statutes of limitations. Given the league’s past habit of thumping its chest when it regards a case filed against it as lacking merit, we expected the NFL’s comment tin response to the case to point out the basic fact that this specific action was pursued too late.
Instead, the NFL has opted to say nothing.
In response to a Wednesday email from PFT seeking comment on the San Diego litigation, the league said, “We will decline comment.”
That’s not how the league has handled other fairly recent lawsuits. When St. Louis sued over the move of the Rams, for example, the NFL said this: “There is no legitimate basis for this litigation. While we understand the disappointment of the St. Louis fans and the community, we worked diligently with local and state officials in a process that was honest and fair at all times.” When Oakland sued over the relocation of the Raiders to Las Vegas, Mark Davis called the case “meritless and malicious.”
Most recently, when former Raiders coach Jon Gruden sued the NFL, the league said that “the allegations are entirely meritless and the NFL will vigorously defend against these claims.”
Maybe, after ultimately paying $790 million to settle the St. Louis litigation, the league has decided that it’s not wise to huff and puff and then have its house blown down. Regardless, the statute of limitations argument hovers over the San Diego lawsuit. Look for the league to push that angle aggressively, at the appropriate time.