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Brian Flores v. NFL


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Brian Flores (well his attorney) will be filing an amended complaint by no later than April 11, 2022

PFT (so take that for what it is worth) is reporting that he is amending his complaint to include the Texans not hiring him as, his complaint will say, it was in retaliation for him filing the lawsuit

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1 minute ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

Rippa hates Dolfan's posts from a month ago.  😞 

Hey its not my fault - PFT wrote a brand new story about it today to apparently say the same exact thing

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  • 3 weeks later...

Latest updates

John Mara stated that the Giants will not be settling the lawsuit with Brian Flores because "the allegations are false"

Mara also insists that there is no way Bill Belichick could have known who the Giants were hiring. When asked where Belichick got his info from (since obviously he did send texts to Flores), Mara said "you have to ask him". So that will be a fun media session the next time Belichick talks.

Meanwhile - PFT says that two more coaches will be joining the lawsuit when Flores' amended complaint is filed on April 8. Those two coaches are adding complaints against two teams not currently in the complaint so everything is about to get bigger.

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Because apparently the NFL only has one lawyer - Mary Jo White will lead the investigation into allegations that Stephen Ross offered money to Brian Flores to lose games

As a reminder - White is also leading the investigation into Daniel Snyder and Washington

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part of the amended complaint now says Flores was so concerned that he was asked to purposely tank, that he put his concerns in a contemporary memo and sent it to basically everyone in upper management. 

This may be extremely significant in Flores' claims that the NFL is investigating. 

However, in the lawsuit, it may actually be a problem because the memo's recipients were probably not in the meeting where Flores was allegedly asked to tank -- which once again makes this a he said/he said case. 

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Lemme surface this since it's not explicitly explained in the above tweets:

Mike Mularkey said in 2020 that he was told by the Titans he "had the job" BEFORE Tennessee had interviewed two minority candidates.  "I don't know why we're doing this, you have the job" is what he claims to have been told during his interview.  

THAT would certainly seem to bolster Flores's case a little bit.

Edited by Tabe
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16 hours ago, Tabe said:

Lemme surface this since it's not explicitly explained in the above tweets:

Mike Mularkey said in 2020 that he was told by the Titans he "had the job" BEFORE Tennessee had interviewed two minority candidates.  "I don't know why we're doing this, you have the job" is what he claims to have been told during his interview.  

THAT would certainly seem to bolster Flores's case a little bit.

And to clarify a little more on this - this is why Ray Horton joined the suit as he was one of the two minority candidates interviewed after Mularkey (Horton was the Titans' DC at the time)

When ESPN reached out to confirm the comments with Mularkey and his response was 

Quote

"I believe you have the truth and what you need," Mularkey told ESPN via email. "Prefer not to comment any further."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In another example of why Brian Flores wanted no part of Hue Jackson joining his lawsuit - Hue has flip-flopped again and it back to claiming the Browns offered to pay him to tank.

He says he told the NFL two years ago about the Browns offer and wanted them to investigate

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The NFL filed a motion yesterday to have this case tried in a private arbitration.  

This quote by Flores' lawyers gives off a big "Lionel Hutz-'Wow they're going to win!' " energy:

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"We will fight this request in court, but Mr. Goodell should have done the right thing, disclaimed arbitration altogether and allowed this case to be tried before a jury representing a cross-section of the community, just like those who watch football."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday was the arguments around that motion with Flores lawyers, rightly, pointing out that one of the issues with going to arbitration is that Roger Goddell would be the one hearing the case.

Either way - the Judge put the case on the slow track so unless the two sides agree to a settlement, this is gonna be awhile

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I should also note, tangential to this, the NFL announced yesterday that they looked into Hue Jackson's claims and that they "can't be substantiated"

Quote

The NFL announced that after a 60-day review, independent investigators led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White "determined that none of the allegations could be substantiated."

The league said that Jackson initially agreed to meet with the investigators, but ultimately did not. Investigators, however, did have access to public statements and filings he had previously made, as well as his testimony in a prior arbitration proceeding.

The NFL also said Jimmy Haslam was interviewed, as were other current and former members of the organization. The Browns also provided documents to help investigators.

The league said that Jackson initially agreed to meet with the investigators, but ultimately did not. Investigators, however, did have access to public statements and filings he had previously made, as well as his testimony in a prior arbitration proceeding.

The NFL also said Jimmy Haslam was interviewed, as were other current and former members of the organization. The Browns also provided documents to help investigators.

"We appreciate the independent investigation led by Mary Jo White and the Debevoise team which brings closure to these allegations that Hue Jackson publicly recanted shortly after they were made and that we've known all along are categorically false," the Browns said in a statement. "As we've previously stated, we welcomed this investigation because the integrity of our game is something that should not be taken lightly and an independent review was crucial in bringing a conclusion to this matter."

 

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4 hours ago, RIPPA said:

I should also note, tangential to this, the NFL announced yesterday that they looked into Hue Jackson's claims and that they "can't be substantiated"

 

I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone - I'm feeling  like the Browns/NFL are correct in this case and I don't know what to make of that.

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https://www.si.com/nfl/2022/05/03/hue-jackson-browns-tanking-allegations-daily-cover

SI has a full article about all the things that Jackson has accused the Browns of (story is technically behind a paywall if you run out of free stories)

Summary is from PFT so the snark is Florio

Quote

Former Browns coach Hue Jackson ultimately refused to cooperate with the investigation triggered by his public comments in reaction to former Dolphins coach Brian Flores’s claim that he was offered $100,000 per loss in 2019. But someone (maybe Jackson) is talking a blue streak to SI.com regarding allegations he initially made in a failed arbitration claim filed in the league’s in-house secret rigged kangaroo court.

Gary Gramling and Conor Orr of SI.com have written a lengthy article that delves into Jackson’s effort to take action against the Browns, a legal odyssey apparently motivated by Jackson’s desire to remove the cloud that a 3-36-1 record in Cleveland has put over his career.

The full article is worth a read. This is an effort to streamline and synthesize the broader points.

First, the Browns used a detailed system of incentives for Jackson and members of the personnel department. The incentives were documented in a “4-year plan,” which had different specific factors for each season from 2016 through 2019.

The “4-year plan” was detailed in a booklet that SI.com was unable to obtain. However, the article includes the incentive formula under the 4-year plan. And it definitely shows that winning was not prioritized — or rewarded — in 2016 or 2017.

For example, incentives were earned in 2016 if the team ranked in the bottom quarter of cash spent, and if at least 15 percent of the available cap space was carried over. Incentives were earned in 2016 and 2017 if the team was in the top half of the league in youngest players, via a metric called “snap-weighted age.”

By 2018, one of the factors on the incentive package became winning at least 10 games. For the first two years, there was no incentive tied to winning any number of games. That distinction alone could be used as proof that winning simply wasn’t a consideration for Cleveland in the first two years of Jackson’s tenure.

An unnamed coaching agent told SI.com after reviewing the incentive package, “If I got that sent to me, the first thing I’d think was ‘Holy shit, this is, like, a tank bonus.”

Second, Jackson’s effort to basically clear his name via a legal claim (he sought compensation for breach of contract, fraud, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Browns, along with punitive damages) was derailed in the league’s arbitration process because he had signed a release of all claims in order to get his buyout. So, basically, he never really had much of a chance to even prove his case before the lawyer Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed to handle the arbitration.

Jackson’s case, if it has been heard, would have included arguments that the Browns misled him during the hiring process, “and that the team set out to intentionally lose games over a two-year span, set up Jackson as a dupe, and scapegoated and defamed him in public comments by prominent members of the organization.”

Per SI.com, Jackson actually was ready to file a lawsuit challenging the arbitration outcome, but decided not to, “due to financial considerations and the prospect of a trial in Cleveland.”

The report also explains that Jackson did indeed offer to cooperate with the recently-completed investigation, if the league presented to him the full scope of the investigation in writing, and if he would receive a waiver and release of claims, indemnity, reimbursement for legal fees and other costs. Mary Jo White, who led the investigation, explained that the league can’t disclose the details of an ongoing investigation to third parties, and that “the NFL does not release, indemnify or pay the legal fees of witnesses.” (Mary Jo, you should Google “Matt Walsh,” “NFL,” “Patriots,” “Spygate,” and “attorneys fees.”)

Even after his arbitration claim failed, Jackson persisted. Per the SI.com article, Jackson sent “multiple letters” to Goodell, requesting that an investigation into the Browns be commenced. The first such letter began with this line, in all caps: “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”

Jackson changed his tune once an investigation finally was opened. Regardless of whether his concerns that he’d face legal claims or other problems were founded, it was prudent to seek protections against the possibility of a billion-dollar business deciding that it has had enough, too, and that it was going to play scorched-earth hardball with him.

For now, here’s the biggest takeaway. The “4-year plan” definitely did not incentivize winning games in 2016 or 2017, and it contained factors that, if achieved, would be conducive to losing. Although Jackson’s arbitration claim was doomed by the fact that he signed a release in order to get his buyout, the league apparently had more than enough evidence to conclude, if it so desired, that Cleveland’s rebuilding sacrificed short-term competitive integrity for long-term objectives.

Whether the league is fine with that bargain is a different issue. Based on the information obtained by SI.com, however, it seems obvious that it was happening.

 

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God damn, Florio is such a terrible writer.  He makes Dave look Pulitzer-worthy by comparison. 

 

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So, basically, Hue wants to claim that he signed a contract with a "tanking provision" but then also claim that he was misled?  Good luck with that.

Cleveland will say they weren't prioritizing tanking, that they were prioritizing getting younger and recognizing that it wouldn't be fair to judge Hue on winning during the first two years.  I don't know that I buy that but they can certainly make that claim.

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Yeah.  I am no lawyer but...from that the verbiage seems vague enough to give room to fail for a coach taking over a bad team.  Which is what the Browns were.  Which is also what any head coach would want with the tire fire that the Browns were at that point.

No penalties for losing (yes, no incentives for winning but...who was going to win with that Browns team?) and incentives for playing younger players.  That seems like a smart move.

How you interpret the whole no incentives for winning (until year 3) and basically being incentivized for playing guys who probably shouldn't be playing as much as they did is up to you.  But if there is one thing we know, courts don't generally do you any favors if they are asked to interpret motives that are not clear cut.

But then I also remember Hue talking the Raiders into trading a first round pick for the corpse of Carson Palmer.  So I may be a smidge bitter towards Hue.

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