On the field, the 2020 NFL season has been reasonably kind to Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders. In the team’s first season in their new home city, the Raiders have a 4-3 record that includes victories over Super Bowl contenders like the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints. However, the Raiders have run into controversy off the field, including an early-season incident in which 10 players were fined for violating COVID-19 protocols and another instance in which Gruden was fined for not wearing a mask on the sideline.
On Thursday, things reportedly escalated for the Raiders, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo reports Las Vegas will be fined and docked a draft pick for further violations.
Sources: #NFL will fine the Las Vegas #Raiders $500,000 & coach Jon Gruden $150,000 and strip the team of a 6th round draft pick for COVID-19 protocol violations related to OT Trent Brown’s positive test in late October. Escalated fines/pick were due to being a “repeat offender”.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) November 6, 2020
As Robinson notes, the punishment increases in severity due to the franchise’s situation as a repeat offender. Quite honestly, that makes sense through the prism of the NFL needing to maintain order surrounding the virus and, in advance of Week 9, more than one-third of the league’s franchises faced some sort of COVID-19 roster fallout.
It remains to be seen as to what the impact of these sanctions might be for the Raiders. Still, losing a draft pick is another level from simply taking money out of the pockets of (very) rich individuals, and Las Vegas might also be on increasingly thin ice should additional issues arise.