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Las Vegas judge denies motion to dismiss Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against NFL

Former Raiders’ coach will go to trial against the league

Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden in his last game as the Raiders coach
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jon Gruden 2, NFL 0.

The former Las Vegas Raiders coach had a hearing at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning in an attempt to have his lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell proceed as a trial. The league was fighting to make it an arbitration case.

The court quickly ruled in favor of Gruden as a Las Vegas judge denied the motion to dismiss the lawsuit, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Gruden was present in the courtroom but Goodell was not.

The court then moved to hear the NFL’s case to dismiss the lawsuit completely. Gruden, 58, won that motion as well.

A core reason why the court ruled in favor of Gruden’s request for a trial may have been because he had a settlement with the Raiders after he suddenly resigned last October over offensive emails he sent several years earlier surfaced in the NFL’s investigation of workplace issues in Washington. Thus, because he settled his contract with the Raiders, it was no longer an NFL contractual issue and it was a legal issue instead of a league issue.

This case heading toward a trial means that there could be a potential discovery that the NFL does not want to get out. So, if this does go to trial, things could get quite uncomfortable for the league. That’s why it’s expected the league will try to come to a settlement with Gruden, who was in his fourth season of a 10-year, $100 million contract with the Raiders at the time of his departure. He went 22-31 in three-plus seasons in his return to the franchise.

Still, it likely won’t change anything for Gruden’s career. Gruden, who coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 and 2018-2021, is likely done coaching in the league,

Gruden, who has kept a very low profile since leaving the team five months ago, didn’t have much to say to reporters after the hearing. He did give words of his support to his former team. His son, Deuce, was retained by the new regime as part of the team’s strength and conditioning coaching staff.

Update: The NFL is appealing the decision.