Jon Gruden’s agent decries “hit job,” believes Gruden will coach again

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On Thursday, the Raiders played the first preseason game of the first year of the Josh McDaniels era. It would have been the fifth year of Jon Gruden’s return to the team.

And, yes, but for the emails that were leaked last October to the media, Gruden would still be coaching the Raiders. He had survived three non-playoff seasons. Given that interim coach Rich Bisaccia took Gruden’s team to the wild-card round after Gruden left, Gruden surely would have made it there himself. And even if he hadn’t, it would have taken a lot for owner Mark Davis to fire the man for whom Davis had become more sidekick than boss.

Gruden’s agent, Bob Lamonte, recently spoke to Ira Kaufman of about, among other things, the former Bucs and Raiders coach. And Lamonte believes Gruden will coach again — presumably in the NFL.

“I really believe in my heart and soul he will coach again,” Lamonte said. “I’d be very surprised if he didn’t. My question is what did Jon really do? Most people wouldn’t want their private e-mails from 10 days ago looked at. That’s why if this were to go to trial, it would be devastating for the National Football League.”

That’s an ominous hint from Lamonte, suggesting that Gruden will perhaps try a good-for-goose-good-for-gander approach that consists of looking at emails sent by others in and around the league from the past decade.

“This wasn’t good for anybody,” Lamonte said of the fact that a small number of emails that Gruden sent to former Washington executive Bruce Allen were leaked to the media at a time when everything else about the investigation of Daniel Snyder’s franchise was, and still is, largely cloaked in secrecy. “That’s why he ended up suing the NFL and [Commissioner Roger] Goodell — because everyone knows it was wrong. You have 650,000 e-mails and his six were picked out . . . and he wasn’t even in the league. He prevailed in court and he will prevail again.”

Gruden won in court on the preliminary question of whether the case will be required to go to arbitration. The NFL undoubtedly will appeal that as far and long as it can, delaying the case for not months but years. Eventually, if the case remains in court, the identity of the leaker will be revealed. Although Gruden thinks it was Goodell, others think it was Snyder. The universe of potential suspects is small, because not many people had access to the information.

The fact that the emails were leaked and the timing of their disclosure continues to seem wrong, regardless of the fact that Gruden’s language was bad enough to merit the outcome he experienced. It shouldn’t have happened the way it did, when it did.

“He was in a state of shock and I was worried about him when this first broke because it was a shot in the dark in the middle of the night,” Lamonte said. “I think the hardest thing for him was that it’s in the middle of October. . . . Supposedly, all this information was known in August. Why now, of all things, does that come out in an investigation that had already gone away?”

The information actually was known, as we’ve heard it, in June. Well enough in advance of the season to deal with it long before training camp opened, giving the Raiders a fair chance to replace Gruden and making the whole thing less sudden and dramatic for everyone involved.

Lamonte opted to take things farther than complaining about the timing. That’s when it becomes much harder to make a case for Gruden.

“It was 10 years ago,” Lamonte said. “And then why Jon and why the Raiders? He wasn’t even in the league at the time of those e-mails . . . that’s the tragedy of it. You can say what you want, but if anyone really understands Jon, they know he’s not a racist. That’s quite obvious. No one would ever say that. . . . The biggest thing that got him was Jon had called Roger Goodell a female body part that wasn’t becoming. I guess he made some bad comments about the Glazers, but you have to realize he had just been fired by the Bucs and he thought he was on private e-mails. A lot of people when they’re fired say bad things.”

Lamonte eventually used the same term that former Raiders radio play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger uttered last year when discussing the matter — Lamonte called it a “hit job” on Gruden.

“It took a very bad toll on him,” Lamonte said. “Jon will tell you he’s a boring guy. The guy watches films all day, that’s what he does. He’s basically a football junkie and you took it away from him. His family was destroyed, his wife’s answering questions, his son works for the team.”

Gruden apparently still wants to work for one of the 30 teams other than the Buccaneers and Raiders.

“I think Jon looks younger, happier and better now,” Lamonte said. “He’s an infinitely wealthy person and the irony of this lawsuit is that everyone says he’ll make a fortune, He doesn’t really need the money. All Jon Gruden wants is his life back — and he’s going to get it back.”

That’s still hard to envision. Apart from the emails, he sued the league and its Commissioner. While it’s legally wrong to retaliate against Gruden for that, there are too few head-coaching jobs and far too many qualified candidates. It will be very easy for teams to give the soon-to-be 59-year-old head coach the cold shoulder.

Besides, let’s not lose sight of the fact that he struggled in his three years back with the Raiders. It appeared that, in many respects, the game had passed him by during more than a decade in the booth. All things considered, Lamonte’s assessment regarding Gruden’s future seems to be far more like wishful thinking than an accurate prediction of the future.

65 responses to “Jon Gruden’s agent decries “hit job,” believes Gruden will coach again

  1. New England is the most likely spot. Coach B will retire after another losing season without TB12. Kraft has a soft spot for troubled kids and wants a strong personality at the helm.

  2. Whoa is me. Gruden should accept that he messed up and now he should shut up & go away. The ‘they did it too’ defense for his own shortcomings doesn’t work.

    The incessant whining is so Trump-like & that it is off-putting. You are free to do what you choose, but there may consequences not to your liking. You’re fired, just like the coup leader…FIRED!

  3. Indifferent about whether he coaches again just want him to take out goodel. Even if goodel can stall til he retires I want that rat’s e-mails; what a trove of hypocrisy injustice and pandering that will be!

  4. The only thing worse than the internet mob is the propagandists who rile them up over false narratives to drive website ad revenue. See that’s what most of the Rubes don’t get, your outrage is just a product of someone else’s fancy marketing with an algorithm applied to it.

  5. Regardless of the reasons he isn[‘t coaching and was fired….Gruden was never a great coach to begin with. He won the SB with Dungy’s team, Monte Kiffin’s great defense and faced his former team who ran Gruden’s offense. His SB win is very similar to Brian Billick’s win. It was Marvin Lewis’s defense. Gruden then dismantled that Bucs team, never won another playoff game in his following 10 seasons as a HC. Even Bucs defensive and some offensive players have discredited him. 6 of his 8 seasons following the SB was a losing record, won double digit games just once. When he returned to the Raiders he went 22-31. The Raiders looked much better after he was fired, made the playoffs, something he couldn’t do with them. 117-112 overrall as a HC, barely above .500. He also is very bad at evaluating talent especially QB. This is the genius who said Chris Sims would be better than Aaron Rodgers so he passed on drafting Rodgers in favor of Cadillac Williams. He also told the Raiders they should’ve drafted Johnny Manziel over Carr. Said Nathan Peterman was a better QB than Mahomes and Watson when drafted. So even if he coaches again, it’s highly unlikely many teams will show interest given his off the field baggage he has now and him simply not being a very good HC.

  6. He won’t coach again because he was exoposed by his three unsuccessful years that he can’t coach and he was exposed in the emails that he’s a bad guy

  7. Translation: My client will not be getting anymore big contracts and my gravy train is over.

  8. Hes correct on all of this. Gruden was screwed for saying bad words. Plenty of folks have said worse. The Bucs should be ashamed of them selves caving after 2 days and taking him off the ring of Honor.

  9. The Raiders are a dysfunctional disaster. This team is going no where fast, karma will help Gruden in the long run and the Raiders will get what’s coming….

  10. Gruden has only himself to blame for his situation. No one forced him to send those emails. No one forced him to use derogatory language towards minorities. Gruden did that all on his own.

  11. The Raiders have big issues and conflicts behind the scenes. Gruden saw something and get pushed out.

  12. It’s common sense that what happen to Gruden is a clear indication of systemic corruption and the rudderless Raiders are covering up something that Gruden exposed. WE will find out the truth in the end, we always do.

  13. Every article about this topic should include Gruden’s quote about the head of the player’s union that the Raiders said was abhorrent: “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin tires.”

  14. Does this even surprise anyone, we are talking about the Raiders here.

    I can’t wait for week one when the Chargers kick the Raiders teeth in!

  15. Emails sent or received on a company account or company equipment are not private. Gruden knew that he was sending the emails to Bruce Allen’s Washington account. Therefore, the emails were not private and Gruden should have had no expectation of privacy.

    If Gruden had intended the emails to be private he should have sent them to Allen’s personal account and verbally informed Allen not to open or read them on company equipment.

  16. I knew when Gruden got pushed out there was something fishy going on….I don’t have a good feeling about this for my Raiders. We are supposed to win the Superbowl for the next five years in a row!

  17. It’s pretty clear here that Gruden didn’t do anything wrong and something was made up or twisted to get him to go away.

  18. Jon Gruden shouldn’t be allowed to head coach in the NFL ever again based purely on his 1st round drafting failures with the Raiders. Horrible evaluator of upcoming college talent(This happened in Tampa Bay too)

  19. I was very surprised to see this happen, but it’s probably better for Gruden to be part of this trash organization.

  20. I was very surprised to see this happen, but it’s probably better for Gruden to NOT be part of this trash organization.

  21. Raiders are definitely worse than the Lions because of dysfunction and corruption like this.

  22. I’d bet Gruden coaches under Saban at Alabama. Several coaches have rehabbed their images doing this and moved on to nice jobs. It’s probably his best shot at getting another chance.

  23. Here’s the math:

    After a long hiatus from coaching, Gruden returned and was doing a lousy job with the Raiders.
    Gruden said some stupid things that would get anyone fired from their jobs.
    The NFL did indeed “make the box around Gruden smaller,” manipulated the situation in “hit job fashion.”

    While the first two items above should have some bearing on whether an owner is willing to make a commitment to Gruden, his absolution via the last item does not mean that he will (or should) coach again.

  24. As to why they were leaked this blurb seems to answer that question….

    – “Don Van Natta Jr. observed: “The only documents from the NFL’s inquiry of a toxic workplace inside the Washington Football Team are the offensive Jon Gruden emails, leaked days after being found. No report, no findings, no emails were released/leaked by the NFL about its inquiry of Dan Snyder and the WFT…” (Twitter)”

  25. His agent isn’t wrong about the “hit job” and I hope he is right about him getting a chance to coach again.

  26. Really overrated coach. The faux tough guy scrunchy face antics wore out many years ago.

  27. It appears that a lot of people believe that emails sent or received on corporate accounts or equipment are somehow private. It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind that belief.

  28. The astonishing thing is Gruden just isn’t that great of a head coach. He’s a quote machine, but he hasn’t had the amazing career his PR team professes. He’s 117-112, and out of 15 seasons seven show a winning record. He’s 5-5 in the playoffs. If you want to go 9-7, Gruden’s your guy.

  29. The NFL has become a hypocrisy! Sooner or later the glass windows will shatter. I hope Gruden brings the NFL to their knees and exposes ALL of the emails in order to seek truth with justice.

  30. Bob Lamonte sounds like a whiner. Guess he’s upset that his golden goose has dried up. Looks like it might be time to retire.

  31. Those who said the game had passed Gruden by were sorta right, love seeing a coach with a more modern system in charge.

  32. Let’s see Watson get’s sued by 20 or more women for different unwanted sexual advances and he gets 6 weeks. Jon uses some jock talk 10 years ago in personal emails and he basically gets kicked out of the NFL. This has Roger Goddell written all over it.

  33. Lamonte is no idiot. He knows Gruden won’t coach again. He’s setting the stage for “lost wages”.

  34. I agree with Gruden that it was a hit job; the fact that they have not released all the documents from the Snyder case points to others being just as guilty. As for another chance to coach, the NFL has many head coaches that do not have winning records .

  35. Please no. It has been so nice not listening to that arrogant gas bag & his bullying tactics. The league has passed him by & it’s time for Chucky to just fade away….

  36. Gruden was screwed by the NFL. Regardless of how I feel about his qualifications as a coach or something he wrote a decade earlier, no one should be allowed to take confidential information and release it for the purpose of damaging someone else’s career. There has to be consequences. If it’s Synder, it has to be the last straw. If it was the NFL, pay up!

  37. So that’s why it was going to take so much money to lure Chucky out of the booth, because the chance he would have to deal with this garbage.

  38. “The biggest thing that got him was Jon had called Roger Goodell a female body part that wasn’t becoming.”
    The ONLY female body part that isn’t becoming is the wrinkly patch behind the elbow…….everything else is pretty good to me.

  39. Gruden’s a tool. But I’d sure like to see the rest of those emails, because no way he’s the only one out there.

  40. The $64 question is who released the emails — that’s who should pay. As for Gruden, while those emails should not have been released unless all were released, some points remain certain: (1) he was not having much success in his latest coaching stint; and (2) private or not, his email comments were very clearly bigoted.

  41. It was a hit job. No one can deny that. Jon’s best shot is going to a small desperate college and rehab his image. As far as coaching, I don’t think the game passed him by. Jon the GM just never got Jon the coach enough good players.

  42. It is NOT about whether Gruden is a good coach or not. Someone at the NFL headquarters or Snyder’s office leaked emails that were PRIVATE, and should have stayed private.
    Everyone has said worse things, especially things in private, that would be outrageous if shown the light of day.
    This was a hitjob, plain and simple.
    I don’t care for Gruden one way or the other but what was done to him was wrong and dirty. This has NOTHING to do with football. It was just wrong!
    I hope the same is done to the person who leaked those emails.

  43. I thought it was common sense that anything you put in an email is subject to worldwide exposure. Why would you use foul and demeaning terms — documented no less. Go find a bar and share your seedy thoughts with a close friend after a few blasts.

  44. I truly believe that what happened to Jon Gruden was wrong, but Gruden is a horrible human being and I mean all the time not just in those emails. Look what was going on in Washington when his brother was coaching. I remember when I stopped liking Gruden because of one Monday night football game where he belittled Colt McCoy the whole game. I am assuming he did it to deflect from the fact his brother cant coach and is a horrible human being who got his qb hurt over his side piece sleeping with the guy who was supposed to be in to pass protect for alex smith. I dont think Jon Gruden should ever coach or be in media again, but tbh what he did wasnt as bad as other people who have gotten second chances in the league and I have argued that Deshaun Watson should be judged fairly so I will say that if he wants to coach and someone wants to hire him then go for it. I wud prefer if he didnt tho because most of the world wud be happier never hearing his name again

  45. Ever since Al Davis sued the NFL and won … the NFL has always screwed over the Raiders.
    How many years in a row were the Raiders the most penalized team … love the phantom calls and different rules that apply to the Raiders.
    I love it when one team gets screwed over on just one call … they cry about it for years now imagine if Sean Payton coached the Raiders?

  46. Time to say no to cancel culture. Humans are flawed by nature. Stop requiring everyone to be perfect, well, perfectly matched to your idea of what’s right and wrong.

  47. gibson45 says:
    August 6, 2022 at 11:05 am

    It appears that a lot of people believe that emails sent or received on corporate accounts or equipment are somehow private. It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind that belief.

    It’s not that they were corporate emails which bothers me. It is that he was an ESPN employee NOT an NFL employee at the time the emails were sent. So the NFL forces Davis to fire him after he is once again employed by the Raiders. Doesn’t make sense. Now Gruden is a below average coach. The Raiders were never going to win with him as head coach. They are better off without him as head coach and I cannot imagine him ever working in the NFL again. But he should get ALL of the money he had remaining on his contract. He was fired without cause for something which happened when he was not an employee of the NFL.

  48. 14 years as a head coach
    13 more as an assistant, including college

    You would think players would be falling all over themselves to out Gruden.

    Have we heard a SINGLE one speak out against him?

  49. Bob Lamonte sounds like a whiner. Guess he’s upset that his golden goose has dried up.

    Represents Andy Reid as well.

    .. and made a mint off Mike Holmgren.

  50. I’d bet Gruden coaches under Saban at Alabama. Several coaches have rehabbed their images doing this and moved on to nice jobs. It’s probably his best shot at getting another chance.

    Saban won’t be able to find the door quick enough in the new college football world. I’m surprised he hasn’t quit already, the way he’s been talking.

    I could see Gruden going to college. Heaven knows someone will give him a chance in the name of winning/$$$. But he won’t settle for anything less than running his own program.

  51. Should’ve stayed in the booth. He’d probably still be there and could’ve been the next Madden(although never would’ve equaled his greatness.) People would’ve forgotten that he was a very mediocre HC that won with other people’s teams. He’s an obsolete bigot that has hurt feelings and lots of sympathy from fellow obsolete bigots.

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