Commanders cut McManus after assault lawsuit

The Washington Commanders released kicker Brandon McManus, days after a lawsuit that was filed against him became public alleging sexual assault from an incident that occurred when he was a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team announced Sunday.

Washington had signed McManus to a one-year, $3.6 million deal this offseason, opting not to re-sign Joey Slye. On Monday, the day ESPN reported the lawsuit, a Commanders spokesperson said the team was aware of the situation and was in contact with the NFL as well as McManus’ representation.

“We take allegations of this nature very seriously,” the Commanders said in a statement.

Under previous owner Dan Snyder, Washington was the subject of multiple investigations stemming from a toxic workplace culture that included allegations of sexual harassment. The NFL eventually fined the organization $10 million. Snyder was accused of sexual misconduct by a former team employee. Snyder was fined another $60 million after a 17-month long inquiry by attorney Mary Jo White. Her findings backed claims that the Commanders hid revenue that was supposed to be shared with other teams. White also substantiated claims that Snyder had sexually harassed former employee Tiffani Johnston.

Snyder sold the team to a group led by Josh Harris in July 2023.

In the lawsuit filed against McManus two women alleged he sexually assaulted them during Jacksonville’s overseas flight to London last year, according to court documents obtained by ESPN.

The women — identified as Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II in the lawsuit filed Friday night in Duval County Circuit Civil Court — accuse McManus of rubbing himself against them and grinding against them. They also accuse the Jaguars of failing to supervise McManus and failing to create a safe environment for staff serving the team.

The lawsuit says the September flight was the first Jaguars charter flight the two women worked, and they have experienced severe mental anguish, anxiety, psychological and emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation. They have been removed from the core crew that staffs Jaguars charter flights, which is something they worked hard to achieve, the lawsuit says.

They are seeking in excess of $1 million and are demanding a jury trial. In a statement Monday night McManus’ attorney, Brett R. Gallaway, called the allegations “absolutely fictitious” and “demonstrably false allegations.” Gallaway also labeled the case an “extortion attempt.”

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing the two women, said on Instagram that “before that filing we attempted, without success, to resolve this matter without the need for litigation. 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. The allegations made in this lawsuit are very serious. We made sure to fully vet them and speak to witnesses before even taking the cases. We will pursue this case with the same tenacity we are known for. It’s a shame that this type of conduct still occurs. It happens far too often. These women were simply trying to do their jobs!”

In his first 10 seasons — nine of which were spent with Denver — McManus made 81.4 percent of his field goal attempts and 97.2 percent of his extra points. In 2023 with Jacksonville he made 30 of 37 field goal attempts and all 35 of his extra point attempts last season.

ESPN Senior Writer Adam Schefter contributed to this report.

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