Sources: Colin Kaepernick's deposition request list in NFL grievance case includes Roger Goodell's wife

NFL columnist
Yahoo Sports

With the deposition phase of Colin Kaepernick’s grievance against the NFL expected to move forward in the coming weeks, a new name has been added to requests sent out by the former quarterback’s legal team: Jane Goodell, the wife of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Sources with knowledge of the legal wrangling in the grievance told Yahoo Sports that Goodell’s wife was added to a list of deposition requests this week. The addition comes following a sweep of text messages, emails and telephone records by Kaepernick’s legal team over the last two months. Roger Goodell and several league executives were among those asked to turn records over, as well as a handful of NFL team personnel and coaches.

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Aside from Goodell and his wife, multiple sources have told Yahoo Sports that at least nine others have now been requested for depositions going forward. Among them: Three NFL owners (Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, New England Patriots’ Robert Kraft and Houston Texans’ Bob McNair); two head coaches (Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh and Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll); two general managers (Ravens’ Ozzie Newsome and Seahawks’ John Schneider); and two NFL executives (Executive Vice President of Operations Troy Vincent and Senior Vice President of Player Engagement Arthur McAfee).

The NFL declined to comment on Kaepernick’s grievance on Tuesday. An attorney for Kaepernick also declined to comment.

Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL in October, alleging collusion by the league office, owners and teams, in an effort to keep him from landing another quarterback job in the NFL. Kaepernick was shown some passing interest by the Ravens and Seahawks last offseason, but each franchise passed on signing him. The cratering of talks with those franchises is believed to have led to the inclusion of coaches and executives from Baltimore and Seattle in deposition requests.

Jane Goodell’s inclusion is a more recent addition, coming months after an October Wall Street Journal report determined she had been surreptitiously using the Twitter account @forargument to defend her husband against articles and comments critical of his handling of league issues. With the account registered under the name “Jones Smith,” the pieces that Jane Goodell responded to on Twitter often included coverage of Roger Goodell’s handling of the player protests that roiled NFL the last two seasons. At one point, the @forargument Twitter account skewered an October ESPN piece focusing on Goodell and player protests, stating “[This] Reads like press release from players’ union. You can do better reporting. ([NFLPA executive director] D Smith sounds like D Trump with the inaccurate firebombs).”

When contacted by the Wall Street Journal about the account in October, Jane Goodell – who previously served as an anchor for the Fox News network – said the Twitter account was meant to defend her husband from inaccurate reporting.

“It was a REALLY silly thing to do and done out of frustration – and love,” Jane Goodell told the Wall Street Journal. “As a former media member, I’m always bothered when the coverage doesn’t provide a complete an accurate picture of a story. I’m also a wife and a mom. I have always passionately defended the hard-working guy I love – and I always will. I just may not use Twitter to do so in the future!”

The @forargument Twitter account was made private and later deleted following the Wall Street Journal report.

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