According to tight end Greg Olsen, other officials on the field even disagreed with the decision before it could be officially announced.
Other than those specifics, Gruden didn’t talk much about his contract. But he did make a joke about the reported length of the deal.
Gruden was asked by former Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson whether or not the team included a no-trade clause in his contract. Gruden said that they did, and he also said there is no ownership stake in the team included in his deal.
He addressed Woodson directly another time, and with a funnier quote. Gruden’s last game as the Raiders head coach was the infamous Tuck Rule game. Woodson is the one who stripped the ball from Tom Brady. The Tuck Rule was born when officials ruled it a forward pass. Gruden made it clear that he disagrees.
It was notable enough to dive into the inner battles over the national anthem issue between the league office and owners in a Seth Wickersham/Don Van Natta story for ESPN last week. But it seemed more jarring Sunday when Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported that 17 owners participated in a conference call Thursday to explore roadblocking what seemed to be an imminent five-year contract extension for commissioner Roger Goodell.
Brown was a full participant during the Steelers’ Wednesday and Thursday practices, but he fell ill on Friday and didn’t practice. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sent Brown home — telling reporters that he didn’t want Brown to get anyone else sick.
“Antonio has looked really good,” Tomlin said, via the team’s official website. “He didn’t participate today. I sent him home with an illness. I didn’t want him to get any of the guys that weren’t sick, sick. We’ll bring him back in the building tomorrow. I don’t have a lot of reservations about him from a physical health standpoint. We do need to get him well from an illness standpoint.”
Because it’s uncertain now if Goodell’s contract is fit to be signed today, or if the owners can still try to negotiate the deal down, it may be a moot point. But as one ownership source told me Sunday, Jones wouldn’t be going to this extent if he didn’t think he could affect the final number on Goodell’s deal—or whether there’s a deal at all. This source also said he thought Goodell would react badly to taking any significant pay cut.