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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Ex-Commanders president makes major claim about Jon Gruden leak

Jon Gruden with a visor on

Dec 22, 2019; Carson, California, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Congress released a report on its investigation into the NFL and the Washington Commanders on Thursday, and it contains one significant allegation.

The report from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform found that Commanders owner Dan Snyder attempted to impede investigations into the organization and its conduct, and that the NFL failed to appropriately address Snyder’s conduct. One significant claim to back these findings came from the testimony of Bruce Allen, a leading member of the Washington front office from 2010-2019.

Allen claimed in sworn testimony that he had been told that private emails he sent that implicated Jon Gruden had been leaked by the Commanders. Allen said he had phoned NFL counsel Lisa Friel to complain about the leak and was told that the league office was not responsible, and the leak “came out of their side.”

The emails in question were leaked to both the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and led to Gruden’s firing as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Gruden has since filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that the league was responsible for the leak and sought to ruin his reputation. If Allen’s version of the story is accurate, it would actually undermine Gruden’s version of events.

There had been some growing speculation recently that Snyder was responsible for the leak. Snyder sought to use Allen as a fall guy in the investigation into the team, and the belief was that he might have been behind the Gruden leak in a bid to deflect attention away from himself. There have been other reports about Snyder that fit that narrative as well.

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