Latest On Brandon McManus Lawsuit

TODAY, 5:25pm: Florio has provided more insight into the lawsuit and the impending impact it could have on the Jaguars organization. Florio understands that the suit will cite witnesses who claim that Jaguars players brought alcohol on the team flight.

As Florio noted earlier this week, the NFL prohibits the serving and consumption of alcohol on team flights. Following a pair of 2022 incidents, the NFL warned of severe punishment for future violations. While the Jaguars may claim ignorance (as coach Doug Pederson did earlier this week), Florio adds that it’s the “obligation” of NFL teams “to ensure players follow” the rule.

TUESDAY, 7:50pm: Veteran kicker Brandon McManus has been accused of sexually assaulting two flight attendants while he was playing with the Jaguars in 2023. After the news broke yesterday, we heard from McManus’s camp, the Jaguars, and his current team, the Commanders. Now, we’re hearing from his former coach, as Doug Pederson revealed that he only learned about the lawsuit when the news broke yesterday.

[RELATED: Commanders K Brandon McManus Named In Sexual Assault Lawsuit]

“I saw the article that came out,” Pederson said today (via Mike Florio of “Obviously, disappointing to hear the news that took place. You know, other than that, honestly, being that it’s a legal matter at this time, I can’t really comment until more information is gathered.”

McManus is accused of rubbing himself against the anonymous plaintiffs during the Jaguars’ flight to London on September 28, 2023. The suit claims that the player was passing out cash to have the plane’s staff members “drink and dance inappropriately for him.” The suit also alleges that the kicker was among the members of the team who turned the flight into a “party,” a crucial note that could drag the Jaguars further into the controversy.

As Florio notes, the NFL frowns upon teams serving and consuming alcohol on team flights. Florio cites a pair of 2022 incidents. First, Titans OC Todd Downing was arrested for DUI “under a timeline that suggested he was drinking on the plane.” Later, Commanders players were disciplined for having beer on a return flight. At the time, the NFL sent a “strongly worded” memo that future penalties for consumption “would be even worse” and could include “significant discipline.”

“A typical flight is not that way, it’s a business trip,” Pederson said today (via Florio). “It’s a business trip. And that’s how we approach it from an organizational standpoint, you know, from the league standpoint. So, for that — when I read that, that part was disappointing.”

Meanwhile, lawyer Tony Buzbee will be representing the pair of women in the lawsuit, per Florio. Buzbee is known for representing the 20 women who accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. In a statement, the lawyer hinted that he tried to settle with McManus before filing the suit.

“We filed the case on Friday, but before that filing we attempted, without success, to resolve this matter without the need for litigation,” Buzbee wrote. “Our efforts at resolution were met with arrogance, ignorance and stupidity, strikingly similar to how Deshaun Watson’s team responded when we tried to resolve those cases pre-filing.”

McManus’s representation called the allegations “absolutely fictitious and demonstrably false.” The lawsuit is calling for a jury trial and damages in excess of $1MM.

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