Kicker Sues NFL Jaguars, Accusing Former Coach Urban Meyer of Physical and Verbal Abuse

Former NFL placekicker Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars, seeking more than $3.5 million in salary and damages for emotional distress caused by former head coach Urban Meyer.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported details of the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County and alleges that Meyer and the Jaguars created a hostile work environment. According to the lawsuit, Lambo says his performance suffered as a result of Meyer’s kicking and verbal abuse.

Josh Lambo receives a reprimand from Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer after missing a field goal last season.

Lambo is seeking a jury trial and expects to be awarded a judgment for back pay due on his 2021 salary ($3.5 million) with interest, as well as “compensation for any special damages suffered such as emotional stress and reputational damage.” and litigation fees”, among other costs

The Jaguars fired Meyer on Dec. 15, hours after the Tampa Bay Times reported that Meyer kicked Lambo during practice months earlier. Meyer was fired for cause, though the team insists Lambo’s accusation had nothing to do with owner Shad Khan’s decision to end one of the most tumultuous coaching tenures in NFL history.

Since Lambo reported the kicking incident to Jaguars legal counsel, his subsequent release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistleblower Law, the lawsuit says.

Lambo, the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history, missed a field goal attempt in each of Jacksonville’s first two preseason games. At practice before the final exhibition game in Dallas in August, Lambo says he was stretching when Meyer walked up to him, kicked him in the leg and said, “Hey (expletive), do your (expletive) kicks!” !”.

Lambo says he told Meyer never to hit him again, but Meyer replied, “I’m the head ball coach. I’ll kick you whenever (expletive) I want.”

The suit says Lambo immediately reported the incident verbally through his agent, who contacted Jaguars legal counsel the day after Meyer kicked Lambo.

According to the lawsuit, an employer physically striking an employee at work and then threatening to do so again in response to resistance is illegal under Florida criminal and civil laws.

Meyer, speaking before his firing, denied that the incident occurred as described by Lambo.

“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses who refute his version,” Meyer said. “(General Manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never mentioned. I was totally supportive of Josh during his time with the team and I wish him the best.”

The lawsuit claims the incident affected Lambo’s ability to sleep, practice and perform his job the way he had during his seven NFL seasons.

“Mr. Meyer’s hostility had its intended effect on Mr. Lambo, resulting in Mr. Lambo atypically missing long, difficult kicks from 55-yard, 52-yard and 58-yard ranges,” according to the lawsuit.

Lambo was released by the Jaguars on Oct. 19, two days after Matt Wright made two 50-plus-yard field goals to beat Miami in London and end the franchise’s 20-game losing streak.

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