Kiffin files grievance with NFL to force Davis to pay him

Updated: October 30, 2008, 9:02 AM ET
By John Clayton |

Former Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin officially filed his complaint Wednesday to claim his lost salary from the team following his firing.

Lane Kiffin


The complaint was completed Wednesday. It was filed through the NFL Coaches Association and will go straight to commissioner Roger Goodell. No timetable is set for hearings and there is a good chance the case won't be heard before the end of the year.

Kiffin is seeking approximately $2.6 million of salary he is owed under terms of his contract. Raiders owner Al Davis fired Kiffin on Sept. 30 after the Raiders' fourth game "for cause." The Raiders were 1-3 this season under Kiffin and 5-15 overall in his one-plus seasons.

Davis claimed Kiffin made comments against the organization, which he considered a violation of his three-year, $6 million contract. Most NFL coaching contracts are guaranteed.

Raiders executive John Herrera issued a statement to The Associated Press refuting Kiffin's claims, saying "Mr. Kiffin was terminated for cause. The grievance is without merit."

Davis' letter to Kiffin Video

Al Davis reads the letter he sent to Lane Kiffin.

The statement says that Kiffin's grievance "completely ignores the fact that Mr. Kiffin repeatedly made reckless statements that attacked players, assistant coaches and the owner of the team and were damaging to the Raiders organization." The statement also alleges that Kiffin made false statements to the media that damaged the Raiders.

Kiffin's agent Gary Uberstine said he looked forward to having the case heard by Goodell.

"Although I am disappointed that the Raiders continue to perpetuate the spectacle they created by inappropriately trying their case in the media, we will continue to adhere to our policy not to comment on a matter which is the subject of a pending legal proceeding," Uberstine said. "Needless to say, we are anxious to present our case to the commissioner under a system in which the truthfulness of statements must be proven to an impartial arbiter. We are as confident as ever that the commissioner will conclude that Coach Kiffin was not fired for 'good cause."'

Davis also refused to pay the remainder of Mike Shanahan's salary when he fired him four games into the 1989 season. Shanahan won a grievance, but Davis has refused to pay him the approximately $300,000 that the Denver coach claims he's owed.

Goodell has the authority to decide if Kiffin receives his money or if the team is right.

Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for The Associated Press contributed to this report.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer