Commanders release Brandon McManus after sexual assault allegations

The Washington Commanders released kicker Brandon McManus, the team announced Sunday, just over a week after he was accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit.

Two women filed the suit in Duval County Circuit Civil Court against McManus and the Jacksonville Jaguars. They accused McManus of grinding against them while serving the team on an international flight to London. They also alleged the Jaguars failed to supervise McManus and create a safe environment for staff on the flight, per the lawsuit.

McManus signed a one-year, $3.6 million deal with Washington in March that included a $1.5 million signing bonus. It’s unclear if Washington will seek to recoup any of the money or cancel any remaining payments.

“Brandon would like to thank the Washington Commanders for the opportunity to be a part of the organization,” McManus’ attorney Brett Gallaway said on behalf of the kicker. “However, we reiterate that the allegations against Brandon are and remain absolutely false and importantly, are contradicted by indisputable evidence and the accusers’ own prior inconsistent statements and omissions.

“While we are disappointed with the team’s decision to release Brandon before he had the opportunity to defend against these fabricated claims, we will aggressively defend and clear Brandon’s name and reputation through the legal process. We intend to defeat these claims, fully exonerate him and look forward to seeing him back on the field where he belongs.”

The Commanders, who will hold their third OTA period this week, have no other kicker on the roster. Last year’s kicker, Joey Slye, signing with the Patriots in the offseason.

A Commanders spokesperson told The Athletic last week the team became aware of the lawsuit Monday. Coach Dan Quinn will address the McManus decision with the media on Wednesday.

The two women who filed the suit worked as flight attendants on the Jaguars’ Sept. 28, 2023, charter flight to London and alleged that McManus passed out $100 bills to encourage three flight attendants — not including Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe II — to drink and dance for him.

Jane Doe I alleged McManus tried to kiss her while she was seated during turbulence. Jane Doe I also alleged McManus grabbed her by the waist from behind and grinded on her on two separate instances while she served meals on the flight, according to the lawsuit.

Jane Doe II alleged in the lawsuit that McManus approached her from behind, grabbed her waist and grinded on her while she served the second meal on the flight to London. When the woman confronted McManus, he “simply smirked and walked away,” the lawsuit said. On the team’s return flight to Jacksonville, Jane Doe II remained in the aircraft’s second story to avoid McManus, per the suit.

Jacksonville played back-to-back London games in the 2023 season. The team hosted the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 1 before facing the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 8.

McManus, 32, spent one season with the Jaguars after the Denver Broncos released him following nine seasons. He made 30 of 37 field-goal attempts and all of his 35 extra-point attempts last season.

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(Photo: Mike Carlson / Getty Images)

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