The question isn’t whether Jon Gruden broke the rules, it’s what will the league do about it?
If there’s one thing the NFL has a very low tolerance for, it’s repeat offenders. A one-time offense isn’t totally excusable, but everyone makes mistakes. When you’ve been in the league for decades and already been fined for making that mistake, the league shouldn’t have much compassion for you. There is no question that Jon Gruden (once again) violated the league’s tampering rules while talking with Richard Sherman this week. The only question is, what is the NFL going to do about it? Levin Black and I explored that topic in today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard Podcast.
“If you think this is the only tampering going on right now, you’re extremely naive,” Levin said, “I guarantee NFL teams are talking to players they know are going to be free agents like Richard Sherman. My favorite part in all this is Gruden saying they can talk off the air. Like, what did you say off the air?”
Levin is 100% right. Not only did Gruden violate the policy once with his initial comments, but he then also admitted he was going to do it again at some point after the interview.
In my opinion, the Raiders should have to give or swap draft picks with the 49ers. It might seem extreme, but there’s actually already precedent such a punishment. In 2008, the league found the 49ers guilty of tampering with Lance Briggs the year before, and San Francisco had to forfeit their fifth round draft pick that year, and swap third round picks with the Chicago Bears. And that was just for contacting Briggs’ agent Drew Rosenhaus. What Gruden did was far more egregious.
For now, the NFL has declined comment on the situation, but you have to wonder what they’ll do about it.
Listen to the whole conversation in today’s episode, and please leave us a rating and a review as they really do help.
Other topics in the podcast:
-Would Derek Carr or Kirk Cousins be an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo?
–Super Bowl LV picks