The Las Vegas Raiders have become a major target of the NFL due to repeated COVID-19 violations. Jon Gruden, multiple players and the team have all been fined already but the league isn’t done yet. The NFL has decided to drop the hammer on the Raiders and hit them with the stiffest penalty yet.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, the league is fining the Raiders $500,000, Gruden $150,000 and stripping a sixth-round draft pick.
That’s easily the biggest penalty a team has been hit with yet. The Raiders certainly aren’t the only team to have multiple violations but a lot of their violations have been caught on camera. Gruden has been seen taking off his mask on the sideline multiple times and Raiders players were seen at a fundraiser not wearing masks. The thing that took it over the edge was the whole Trent Brown incident, which hasn’t even been resolved. The Raiders need to be very careful going forward as another violation could lead to the NFL taking more picks.
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Gruden Recently Said He Didn’t Believe More Punishments Were Coming
This news will definitely come as a huge blow to the organization. Gruden sounded pretty confident that the Raiders have been doing the best they can and that NFL wouldn’t come after them too hard.
“I’m really proud of our organization and what we’ve done,” Gruden said recently. “There’s a lot of things I think have been written and said about some of the violations that we have committed. We’re on the cutting edge of beating the virus. What we’ve done as an organization are top-notch.”
He even went so far as to say he hadn’t heard anything about a potential penalty. The NFL is clearly trying to send a message to the rest of the NFL. While the Raiders are likely to be very upset with the penalties, they did break the rules that they agreed to.
Raiders to Appeal Penalties
In typical Raider fashion, they aren’t going to take these penalties lying down. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network offered some more insight on the situation and also revealed that the team plans to appeal.
The Raiders are far from the only team to have issues with COVID-19 and there are other teams that have had to have games postponed. Andrew Brandt pointed out that both the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers had positive tests this week but still played. The news of the Raiders’ penalties dropped during the game.
It’s hard to imagine the appeal will work as the NFL is using the Raiders to send a message to the other teams. Las Vegas should be relieved that they only lost a sixth-round pick as there was talk of teams getting penalized even worse. The season is far from over and it will certainly be interesting to see if the NFL’s decision to go after the Raiders leads to fewer teams having issues with COVID-19.