“Prior arbitration proceeding” between Browns and Hue Jackson wasn’t over unpaid salary

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The statement issued by the NFL on Monday regarding the investigation into claims made by former Browns coach Hue Jackson that the team offered incentives to lose in 2016-17 included a curious comment in the final paragraph. The league revealed that Jackson and the Browns were involved in a “prior arbitration proceeding.”

So what was the prior arbitration proceeding about? Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it wasn’t about money. Jackson, per the source, received every penny of his buyout, with no effort by the team to withhold his pay.

The Browns, per the source, remain confused about the purpose of the arbitration proceeding filed by Jackson. The source speculates that Jackson may have simply been trying to show that his abysmal win-loss record as coach of the Browns (3-36-1) wasn’t his fault.

Regardless, the prior arbitration proceeding resulted in filings and testimony that allowed the investigation to be completed without Jackson’s cooperation. Based on Jackson’s prior comments to SI.com, that arbitration apparently was aimed at raising his concerns through the proper channels.

So why did Jackson refuse to cooperate with the investigation? Was he concerned that evidence of deliberate tanking in 2016 and/or 2017 would expose him to liability? Did he realize that it would be difficult to change his prior testimony from the arbitration proceeding? Or did he just conclude it was a waste of time, if those issues were indeed previously presented via the NFL’s in-house secret rigged kangaroo court?

Regardless, Jackson pulled the pin on the grenade by chiming in after former Dolphins coach Brian Flores accused Dolphins owner Stephen Ross of offering $100,000 for each loss in 2019. When the grenade went off, he was nowhere to be found.

“Prior arbitration proceeding” between Browns and Hue Jackson wasn’t over unpaid salary originally appeared on Pro Football Talk