Former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo (4) sued the team in Duval County, Fla. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, May 11 (UPI) -- Ex-Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo has sued the team, alleging ex-coach Urban Meyer created a hostile work environment, and he wants more than $3.5 million in lost salary and damages, court records show.
Lambo said his performance suffered due to the alleged "pattern of harassment" and "intimidation tactics" he claims Meyer used against him.
Lambo filed the civil lawsuit Tuesday in the 4th Judicial Circuit in Duval County, Fla. Meyer denied the claims when they first surfaced during the 2021 NFL season. The Jaguars fired the first-year coach in mid-December.
In the lawsuit, Lambo's lawyers claim that Meyer approached him, "kicked him in the leg" and used "profanity" to insult him and "warn him to make kicks" as he trained in late August at the team's practice facility in Jacksonville.
Lambo objected to the alleged "physical battery" and told Meyer not to kick him again, according to the lawsuit.
The suit claims Meyer told the veteran kicker "I'm the head ball coach, I'll kick you whenever the [expletive] I want."
Lambo reported the alleged illegal activity to the Jaguars through his agent, Richard Irvin. The Jaguars confirmed in December that they received a query from Irvin on Aug. 27, about the allegations and "responded immediately." The team also said its legal counsel offered to speak with Lambo.
The lawsuit claims that the Jaguars did not initiate an investigation or inform the NFL or NFL Players Association about the allegations against Meyer.
The NFL declined comment Wednesday about the allegations. Neither the NFLPA nor the Jaguars immediately responded to a request for comment.
The lawsuit states that Meyer was "furious" with Lambo and initiated a "pattern of harassment and created a hostile work environment" and threatened to cut the kicker from the team with a day after his complaint.
Lambo claims Meyers actions impacted his ability to sleep, practice and perform and resulted in him "uncharacteristically missing kicks."
The Jaguars released Lambo on Oct. 19, a move he says resulted in "extreme emotional and mental distress," in addition to lost wages and more.
The Tampa Bay Times published an article on Dec. 15, which reported the incident between Meyer and Lambo. The next morning, Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced Meyer's firing.
"As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential," Khan said in a news release. "Regrettably, it did not happen."
Lambo's legal team requested that the Jaguars produce documentation about his performance, personnel files, audio and video recordings from team facilities, text messages, emails and more as part of the lawsuit.
Lambo, who is a free agent, made a career-low 71.4% of his extra point attempts last season. He missed on all three of his field goal attempts through three games in 2021. Lambo made all five of his field goal attempts and 8 of 10 extra point attempts in four games in 2020. He missed 12 games that season due to injury.
Lambo made a league-high 97.1% of his field goals in 16 games in 2019 for the Jaguars. He also appeared in a career-high 16 games that season. The seven-year veteran entered the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted free agent and signed with the San Diego Chargers. He joined the Jaguars in 2017.
The former Texas A&M kicker made 87.1% of his field goal attempts and 89.9% of his extra point attempts through his first 78 NFL appearances. He was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2019.
Darrell Bevell finished the 2021 season as the Jaguars' interim coach. The AFC South franchise announced in February that it hired former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson as Meyer's permanent replacement.
The Jaguars had an NFL-worst 3-14 record last season.