Former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson clarified in an interview with CNN on Friday night that he was never paid to lose games, but evidence that team ownership and executives intended to lose during the 2016 and 2017 seasons "will come to light at the right time."
"No, I was never offered money like Brian [Flores] had mentioned," Jackson told CNN. "I think this is a totally different situation but has some similarities."
On Wednesday, Jackson and Kimberly Diemert, the executive director of the Hue Jackson Foundation, which works to prevent human trafficking, began tweeting in response to Flores' lawsuit against the NFL and three teams -- the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants -- alleging discrimination regarding his interview processes with Denver and New York and his firing last month by Miami. In the lawsuit, Flores also claimed that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross attempted to incentivize him to purposely lose games shortly after he was hired in 2019, allegedly offering Flores $100,000 for every loss that season.
Jackson tweeted that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam "was happy while we kept losing" and referenced the dollar amount he allegedly received from Haslam per loss as, "trust me it was a good number."
Later Wednesday, Jackson told ESPN's SportsCenter that the Browns had a "four-year plan" that incentivized losing during the first two years; bonus money was available if certain measurables were met such as aggregate rankings, being the youngest team and having so many draft picks. He said that plan led to his 1-31 record during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which gave Cleveland the No. 1 overall draft pick in back-to-back years.
Haslam fired back at Jackson on Thursday, telling the Knoxville News Sentinel that Jackson "has never accepted blame for one thing" and called the claim he paid Jackson to lose games "an absolute falsehood."
Jackson told CNN that he wasn't paid to lose games, but he had evidence to back his claims that ownership and the Browns' executives intended to lose games.
"I told Jimmy that what he was doing was very destructive, to not do this because it's going to hurt my career and every other coach that worked with me and every player on the team," Jackson told CNN. "And I told him that it would hurt every Black coach that would follow me. And I have the documents to prove this."
When pressed why he hasn't disclosed that evidence, Jackson said: "Those things will come to light at the right time."