Inside The Bucs Front Office And Jon Gruden’s Angst

August 6th, 2022

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BY IRA KAUFMAN

Brace yourself for more sweeping changes at One Buc Place.

It appears this will be Tom Brady’s final season under center for Tampa Bay — and the ramifications of his departure can’t be overstated. A key figure in the front office is also likely to leave, according to one of the NFL’s most influential power brokers.

You probably don’t know who Bob LaMonte is — and he likes it that way. Lamonte is the unassuming president of PSR, a firm he started in 1979 that has grown into a lucrative haven for coaches and general managers.

Bucs VP of Player Personnel John Spytek,

Instead of focusing on players, LaMonte and his group represent the executives and coaches who wield real power in the league.

Among his clients are Bucs GM Jason Licht and John Spytek, Tampa Bay’s VP of Player and Personnel. Licht personally recruited Spytek to come aboard in 2016 after Spytek had worked in Denver, Cleveland and Philadelphia.

“John and Licht are very tight and Jason thinks the world of him,” LaMonte told me over breakfast at a Tampa hotel. “They go over everything together. He knows John will be a GM in this league. John had a very good opportunity of getting the Pittsburgh job in March, but the Steelers decided to stay in house with Omar Khan, who had been there 21 years.

“That wasn’t a surprise. John was told by that organization, ‘You’re gonna be a GM.’ He has a tremendous personality, he’s a likable guy. More importantly, John’s really, really smart and he knows the game. He’s more than ready and he’s young — everybody today wants young. Jason kind of knows it’s going to happen. I’d be very surprised if by next year, John doesn’t have a GM job.”

Licht is one of 13 NFL GMs represented by LaMonte, who has quite a streak going. For each of the past five years, a head coach or a GM under the PSR umbrella has ended the season clutching the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

In addition to drafting wisely in recent years, Licht has acquired substantial talent through free agency.

“Even with adding Tom Brady, the GOAT, if you watched that Super Bowl, Tampa Bay won with the defense Jason put together,” LaMonte says.

“They crushed a Kansas City team that was putting 35 points up on everybody. When someone has had success within an organization, we feel it behooves both you and the organization to stay. Jason isn’t looking to go anywhere else and the Glazers know he’s good. To my point, that’s a marriage.

“The Bucs have a very good group of core young players. Jason wouldn’t have survived that long here if ownership didn’t know he was good at his job.”

“That Was A Hit Job”

LaMonte and Jon Gruden go back a long way. They rejoiced together after the 2002 Bucs trounced the Raiders in the Super Bowl. Almost two decades later, when Gruden lost his job with the Raiders midway through last season, his long-time agent offered constant support.

Jon Gruden’s agent explains his client was the victim of an NFL “hit job.”

“Jon’s doing a lot better now,” says LaMonte. “He was in a state of shock and I was worried about him when this first broke because it was a shot in the dark in the middle of the night. I think the hardest thing for him was that it’s in the middle of October.

“Supposedly, all this information was known in August. Why now, of all things, does that come out in an investigation that had already gone away?

“And it was 10 years ago. And then why Jon and why the Raiders? He wasn’t even in the league at the time of those e-mails … that’s the tragedy of it. You can say what you want, but if anyone really understands Jon, they know he’s not a racist. That’s quite obvious. No one would ever say that.”

Since parting ways with the Raiders, Gruden sold his Las Vegas home and returned to Tampa.

“The biggest thing that got him was Jon had called Roger Goodell a female body part that wasn’t becoming,” LaMonte says. “I guess he made some bad comments about the Glazers, but you have to realize he had just been fired by the Bucs and he thought he was on private e-mails. A lot of people when they’re fired say bad things.

“It took a very bad toll on him. Jon will tell you he’s a boring guy. The guy watches films all day, that’s what he does. He’s basically a football junkie and you took it away from him. His family was destroyed, his wife’s answering questions, his son works for the team. I can tell you right now that was a hit job.

“This wasn’t good for anybody. That’s why he ended up suing the NFL and Goodell — because everyone knows it was wrong. You have 650,000 e-mails and his six were picked out … and he wasn’t even in the league. He prevailed in court and he will prevail again.

“I really believe in my heart and soul he will coach again. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t. My question is what did Jon really do? Most people wouldn’t want their private e-mails from 10 days ago looked at. That’s why if this were to go to trial, it would be devastating for the National Football League.

“I think Jon looks younger, happier and better now. He’s an infinitely wealthy person and the irony of this lawsuit is that everyone says he’ll make a fortune, He doesn’t really need the money. All Jon Gruden wants is his life back — and he’s going to get it back.”

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!


Ira Kaufman Talks Tom Brady & His Miami Mess, Chris Godwin’s Return, Kyle Trask Struggles & Future, Todd Bowles’ Revelation, Mike Evans’ Hamstring, And Much More

33 Responses to “Inside The Bucs Front Office And Jon Gruden’s Angst”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    “LaMonte told me over breakfast at a Tampa hotel.” Did you crash the Embassy Suites and scarf down the free breakfast?!

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    Jon Gruden is a great man. He’s a great coach. This was wrong. Any sanctimonious people who want to pretend to be “woke” need to STFU unless they want all of their private moments exposed.

    I think taking him down from ROH was an embarrassment to the Glazers. They displayed cowardice. I have complimented them in the past but on this, they were weak. They failed. They are cooters.

    This culture of purity is ironic. It’s Salem witch hunting. It’s Anti-American. The “woke” terrorists preach tolerance. But they are intolerant.

    Goodell is a punk. He is what Gruden says he was. I hope he has to give up all of his emails.

  3. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I hope Jon Gruden kicks some NFL Butt, in his lawsuit.
    Our Company cleaned his roof, but I have never had the pleasure of meeting him.
    As far as John Spytek goes, he will surely be gone one day.
    Our Drafts have been vastly improved since he arrived here in Tampa.
    Plus, IMHO, he has a cool azz last name! Spytek!

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No doubt a hit job on Gruden…..

    Jon Gruden & Bruce Arians are my favorite Buc HCs……can you guess why?

    He should be able to coach again…..but probably won’t.

    As for Spytek……great managers have great people working for them and they get recruited…..happens all the time….My guess is that Jason either has or will find someone as good to take his place.

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Gruden may coach again, but probably not in the NFL as a Head Coach.
    NFLPA will not put up with any Franchise making Gruden a Head Coach after his email leak regarding former NFLPA director. It’s just not something that can be walked back. He’s not getting that aspect of his life back.

  6. David Says:

    I hope Gruden does sue them and win. If all the emails are forced to go public it’s going to cause chaos. People say craap in private. Not a racist, not even close.
    Other than a little name-calling to Goodell, I just don’t understand why they singled him out and went after him, just like the article says. It seems like there was some other reason.

    I was a Gruden fan but by the time he got fired I was all for it. He wasn’t bringing in good young talent, he didn’t know what to do with the quarterback position, and the coaching staff was getting worse.
    I liked him, I hope he kicks the NFL‘s butt in court, but I think he’s a very overrated coach

  7. WillieG Says:

    The called him a racist because he described the head of the NFLPA as stupid and with big lips. Is he stupid? Does he have big lips? Yeah, it’s a disgusting racist thing to say if you say that about ALL black people, but if you say it about a particular person, any person, and it’s actually true, that’s not racism IMO.

    I have literally said the exact same things about other people. Mick Jagger comes to mind. Hell, Eddie Murphy made a joke about Jagger, describing how black people say something like “damn that dude’s got some big @&# lips!” I never once thought that was racism. I thought it was A) true and B) funny as hell.

    I also think the Glazers overreacted when they took his name off the Ring of Honor. Yeah, he said some crude things about them after he was fired, but I bet if we could go through their emails, they’d be less than pure when discussing Gruden. I always thought they’d take the high road and be more understanding.

    BTW, I don’t like Gruden. I loved him after the Super Bowl win, but I watched him destroy the franchise with his stupid personnel decisions, and I watched him destroy the careers of players (Mike Alstott for example). It’s funny how he seemed to under-utilize all the players who were immensely popular. Coincidence? Or an egomaniacal coach wanting to keep all the glory for himself?

  8. CruzanBuc Says:

    Honestly that leak is just a way to protect Washington Football teams owner. From his Sexual harrament issues remember that’s why they were looking thru the emails. They are doing it again look into Fins Tanking allegations then suddenly anouce tampering issue taking away from the owners bigger wrong doings. Billionaires sacrificing millionaire’s is all nothy to see here.

  9. Mr. Editor Says:

    Another NFL job? This is not likely and not because of the e-mails but the fact that he had a terrible track record in his second go-around as the Raiders coach. They gave him $100 million over 10 years and final decision over the roster. He traded away solid players to accumulate draft capital, and then, didn’t draft well.

  10. Stone crab sam Says:

    Jon gruden is a good man. He put tampa Bucs on the map. Hard worker and a straight shooter. Lesson learned here is never put anything out in cyberspace you may live to regret. Also imo the glazers over reacted on this particular case.

  11. mark2001 Says:

    Being in a position where money is somewhat irrelevant because you have so much, and instead being concerned about your reputation and living a fulfilled life is not the perfect spot to be in. But a spot better than about 75% of the folks in this world. I would say 95% but some folks are so focused upon gathering more money that they never focus on anything else, no matter how much they have.

  12. University of Seffner Says:

    I got to meet Jon Gruden when I was 8 (2008 Training Camp), he was a pleasure to talk to and my father got to talk to him as well. Seeing the hit job done on him made me disgusted. The Glazers removing him from the Ring of Honor was ridiculous saying that he didn’t represent the values of the organization, yet Warren Sapp, who despite being a great player, has a well-documented off the field attitude that would win the award of being a complete piece of (expletive). He also has a criminal record (arrested for Soliciting Prostitution in Arizona which got him fired from NFL Network). Glazers might as well remove Sapp if they took Gruden’s name off since they claim they want to promote social justice. I do hope Gruden can get back into coaching 1 day. As far as those who did the hit job, they deserve to be publicly embarrassed to say the least.

  13. Buc king Says:

    I didn’t see nothing wrong with what he said most of was in jest and in private.
    Only reason it back fired cause of the big lip comment but it was accurate as a tom brady throw

  14. Buczilla Says:

    Our front office is awesome. Gruden got screwed and while what he said was classless, he didn’t deserve to be fired. Hopefully he wins his lawsuit and forces the glazers to put his name back up. I seriously doubt that he ever coaches in the nfl again though.

  15. Lakeland Steve Says:

    I hope Gruden does not settle with the NFL and that douche Goodell and makes them go to court. That way maybe all those emails would come out. In todays screwed up woke society it would probably take down half the NFL

  16. Bucs Win Says:

    What you do and say when you think no one’s watching is the truest reflection of a person’s character.

  17. westernbuc Says:

    Put Gruden back in the Ring of Honor

  18. NeverGIVEup Says:

    JG = The Real Slim Shady

    Yall (NFL and Haters) act like you never seen a white person rap before, jaws all on the floor.

    Cancel culture hit its peak when they went after an NFL god and geek. Toung in cheek we all know the NFL is full of freaks. From the front offices where the billionaires come out acting cheap. To the field where the talent is so incredible that no one dare speak. This entire situation just shows you our future and why its sadly bleak.

    F you Mr. Goodhell… F you NFL… From the deepest part of my heart…

    Ha ha, Im just playing America. You know I love you

  19. ModHairKen Says:

    Never GIVEup, never give up. Not a fan of rap, but a fan of the one you just published.

  20. miken Says:

    taking his name down from ROH is inexcusable.

  21. NeverGIVEup Says:

    Thanks Mod… I thought it was clever and fun.

    It’s a JoeBucsFan original fo sho.

    I’m here till the Son comes up and the world shuts up. 🙂

  22. Cdog76 Says:

    I still love Chucky and what he did for this organization. I thought it was a shame he was removed from the Ring of honor. It was a petty move by the Glazers IMO. Like Lamonte said, there would be alot of people in dire straits if all there old emails were exposed. Goodell and the NFL are a joke at times when it comes to hypocrisy and acting holier than thou.

  23. NeverGIVEup Says:

    Oh and BTW @Bucs Win, I agree with you with one exception. What a person does in their private life is not what we see and judge people by.

    It says more about the people judging said persons private life than it does about said person.

    Those of us who understand and appreciate PRIVACY know that things that are said in done in PRIVATE. Are the individual’s way of working out how to behave in genral.

    Just ask any kid who has ever hated school. Or any adult who has ever hated politics.

    Say whatever you want. BUT Do Not Tread on Me

  24. Bowles4President Says:

    Let’s think about any other business.

    If the entire staff and public find out you said the owner of the company should **** your ****, then your “Employee of the Month” photo on the wall is going to come down.

    Don’t overcomplicate it. It’s that simple.

  25. westernbuc Says:

    Bowles4President

    If you bring the equivalent of a super bowl to a company, you could tell that to the CEO straight to his face because you’ve made them very rich and they’d get over it.

  26. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Chucky? Yes! He could probably coach the Bucs to another SB victory in the post-Brady era.

  27. Bowles4President Says:

    Westernbuc

    Monte Kiffin and Rich McKay brought this team a super bowl. Jon Gruden ran out Rich McKay, which took us from appearing in the playoffs for 5 of the previous 6 seasons to having a 17 year playoff-win drought.

    The ONLY reason Rich McKay isn’t in the ROH, is because is the current President of one of our division rivals.

    Gruden owes his success in Tampa to Kiffin and Rich McKay. If anything, the Glazers trusted him too much. Looking back, when he couldn’t get along with McKay, the Glazers should have told him to stay in his lane or take a hike.

    If we had kept Rich McKay as our GM, we wouldn’t have gone 17 years without a playoff win, that’s for sure.

  28. IDROOLPEWTER&RED Says:

    Bowles4President, as Lamonte said to Ira, the emails were written when Gruden was no longer employed by an NFL team. They were written when Gruden was still bitter over being fired. I say this as someone who is still bitter over Gruden’s ineptitude with the draft as well as ruining the career of Mike Alstott. I can still remember knowing, just like everyone else writing these comments, how f-ing predictable Gruden’s play calling was.

    Gruden’s going to get a huge settlement out of his lawsuit because there’s no way in hell the NFL wants (potentially) everyone’s emails being brought forth during discovery. And he deserves every penny.

  29. DoooshLaRue Says:

    WillieG and David,

    Spot on!

  30. Crickett Baker Says:

    I SO want to see Brady take over Goodell’s position. I never liked Gruden but no one should be taken out of a ROH.

  31. Howard Cosell Says:

    This is awesome. Gruden is epic.
    Bad news for the snowflakes who abuse the woke joke.
    Gruden is the farthest thing ftom a rasict.
    A hit job indeed! But by whom specifically?
    Lets name names, shall we?

    LFG

  32. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard remembers all the snowflakes ranting about Gruden when this hit job went down
    Where are you now girls?

  33. Ausgust 1976 Buc Says:

    John made some enemies along the way, and they nailed him.

    Is John perfect, no not at all, but neither is anyone reading this post.

    Hope it goes well for him. He will land on his feet.

    With that being said, I am not a Gruden fan.

    Yes I am glad for the Lombardi trophy at 1 Buc Palace that John was part of.

    But John’s record after Super Bowl was a losing record of 45-51 and 0-2 in the playoffs for the Bucs.

    Rich McKay got run off by John. Never really understood what went down there with Gruden and McKay. And then Bruce Allen comes in to be GM. A marriage not made in heaven.

    Back in 2019, I was glad BA was hired and not Gruden again.

    GO BUCS!!!!

 

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