Did Dan Snyder Use Relationships With Roger Goodell and Jay Z’s Roc Nation to Force Jon Gruden Out of the NFL In 2021?

Jon Gruden believes he was burned by the NFL and won’t stop until he gets his revenge. He may have just found his way to get even with the league after the latest ESPN report that backs up his allegations with detailed accounts.

Jon Gruden, Roger Goodell, and Dan Snyder all pictured. (Photo: @nypost/ Twitter screenshot)

Gruden Was Right

Four NFL owners anonymously told ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham that Roger Goodell was directly involved in the email leak. Another owner backed those allegations by saying “league executives” approved of the leaks.

Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL in 2021 after he was forced to resign by the Las Vegas Raiders for a series of misogynistic, racist and anti-LGBTQ+ emails exchanged with Washington team president Bruce Allen that were leaked to reporters. Gruden had returned to the NFL in 2018 with a 10-year contract from the Raiders but only lasted two and a half seasons. The emails were from 2011 to 2018 while he was an analyst for ESPN.

Plot Twist

Snyder caught heat for Washington’s culture of sexual harassment and abuse that was reported by former female employees. He also refused to change the team’s nickname from Redskins for years in his 24-year tenure as owner.

According to a report released by The U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee, Snyder leaked the emails to Goodell in order to get back in his good graces to avoid the heat being directed his way. In 2021, Snyder was forced to step down from his day-to-day duties as team owner and thought he would be able to return by fall of that year. Goodell had other plans, and that is when the Washington owner played the only card he had left.

“He was free and clear that October — he just had to wait out his suspension and let everything blow over,” a source close to Snyder told ESPN. “A major miscalculation. Without the leaks, he might just have survived.”

A congressional committee launched an investigation into the Washington franchise, which led to Goodell and Snyder testifying under oath. A source told ESPN that the leaked emails put things in motion for lawmakers to look into Snyder’s wrongdoings. He recently was forced to sell the team in April.

Used Jay-Z for Bait

In addition, Snyder thought he could use the relationship between Goodell and rap legend Jay-Z to get back in the league’s good graces. In 2019, the NFL partnered with Roc Nation in a five-year, $25 million deal to help reshape the Super Bowl halftime shows, produce music for the season, and bring awareness to social justice issues that could help the league move past the fallout with teams unwillingness to sign Kaepernick after the 2016 season.

The new partnership also gave Desiree Perez, CEO of Roc Nation, a direct path to work with the league office. Perez and Goodell’s relationship grew so much over the years that she started attending key league meetings. Many owners also believed her and Roc Nation appointed themselves as the new NFL marketing team. Perez became a trusted confidant for Snyder as well. She even sat on the board of the Commanders.

Roc Nation and Snyder are both clients of Reed Smith Law Firm, a firm with a reputation for taking aggressive approaches to help famous clients win their cases. Perez and Reed Smith were both allegedly involved in leaking documents to reporters and using private investigators on MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to help Alex Rodriguez’s lawsuit against MLB in 2013.

Snyder liked their work together and decided to use both Reed Smith and Perez for his own benefit to speed up his process of getting back into the league’s good graces. He used those relationships to his advantage, but it all backfired.

Back to top