- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
The last time New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft addressed deflate-gate, he stood on a podium and accepted the punishment of the team by the NFL. He didn't say it at the time, but he thought by doing so he would help Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension.
It didn't help. The suspension was upheld on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Kraft was angry. Kraft apologized to the fans for accepting the Patriots penalties. He said he was wrong to do so.
"I was wrong to put my faith in the league," Kraft said. "Given the facts, evidence and laws of science that underscore this entire situation, it’s completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players and a man for whom I have the utmost respect. Personally, this is very sad and disappointing to me."
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Tuesday’s announcement that Roger Goodell will uphold Tom Brady’s four-game suspension didn’t amount to a conclusion in the case. But it made one conclusion very clear: Everyone loses with this story.
Yes, you can have your jokes about lawyers, iPhones (poor Samsung) and “Free Brady” t-shirt makers getting theirs. Fine — those profiting off this circus are the insignificant minority here who win, like umbrella salesmen price gouging during a downpour.
In short, everyone loses with this story, which should have been snuffed out months ago but now has taken an afterlife of its own. Everyone involved — Brady, Goodell, the NFLPA, the rest of the NFL, the fans — we all lose.
Even the NFL, which will see profit in the form of gonzo ratings in the season opener between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, lose in this deal. Their short-term gain will have serious long-term effects.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
In his most defiant public address since the deflate-gate scandal broke after the AFC championship game, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady emphatically defended his innocence on Facebook.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady's four-game suspension on Tuesday, citing the QB's destroyed cell phone as an important factor in his decision, and the four-time Super Bowl champ threw his counterpunch on Wednesday morning, claiming he replaced a broken Samsung with an iPhone 6.
I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one...
Here is Brady's statement in full, punctuation mistakes and all:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry will return to the practice field on Wednesday, less than eight months after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Chiefs announced on Tuesday night that Berry has been cleared by doctors and will practice when they start camp. Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced in late May that Berry had completed cancer treatments, but it was still unclear when he could return to football.
It's wonderful news all around that Berry won't even miss a day at the start of training camp.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Lost in the hubbub of Tom Brady's suspension remaining at four games was some good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Yes, they occasionally accomplish things together.)
Running back Le'Veon Bell was able to have his three-game suspension pared down to two games after a settlement between the NFL and NFLPA.
Bell had been arrested in August 2014 on DUI and marijuana possession charges when he was pulled over by police with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. Marijuana was found in the car as the two players drove to the airport last preseason for a game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The offense occurred under the old NFL drug policy, and yet Bell's initial suspension — the three games — was consistent with the new guidelines. The two sides settled, and Bell will miss games (and be docked games checks) in Weeks 1 and 2 at the New England Patriots and home against the San Francisco 49ers, respectively. Bell will be eligible to return to action in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Brady won't be pulling a Robert Kraft — he'll fight the good fight, and his court options are fascinating. The NFL took preemptive measures after announcing the four games stood by seeking an immediate confirmation in New York, not Minnesota where the NFLPA has had great success on appellate decisions involving the league.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
The New England Patriots, who easily gave in and accepted their punishment in deflate-gate for the good of the NFL as a whole, aren't happy that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't reduce or vacate Tom Brady's four-game suspension.
The Patriots released this statement a few hours after Goodell's ruling:
"We are extremely disappointed in today's ruling by Commissioner Goodell. We cannot comprehend the league's position on this matter. Most would agree that the penalties levied originally were excessive and unprecedented, especially in light of the fact that the league has no hard evidence of wrongdoing. We continue to unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady. We also believe that the laws of science continue to underscore the folly of this entire ordeal. Given all of this, it is incomprehensible as to why the league is attempting to destroy the reputation of one of its greatest players and representatives."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
The NFL has upheld Tom Brady's four-game suspension, largely because Brady refused to turn over his cell phone, and all hell's breaking loose. We spend a good 20 minutes chewing over this from every angle, including the "Patriots are cheaters" and "Tom Brady should've just turned over his phone!" angles.
We also consider who wins and who loses in this whole scenario, and whether Jimmy Garoppolo is ready for his close-up. Finally, we look at the options available for both Brady and the NFL going forward. This story is by no means over.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
The NFL has ruled on Tom Brady's four-game suspension, and unlike Greg Hardy's domestic violence case, there was no reduction. Both Hardy and Brady each ended up getting four games.
The NFL hammered hard on the fact that Brady destroyed his cell phone in upholding the suspension, even though the NFL had no right to Brady's personal communication on his phone. It smells like a good way to appeal to the public and put out an easily digestible arguing point, but it doesn't make much logical sense.
The longer report by Goodell failed to do one thing critics of Ted Wells' report has pointed to: There's no specific evidence against Brady, and we're still unsure exactly what he did or didn't do.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
While we waited for the deflate-gate appeal verdict to come in, there were reports that the NFLPA and Tom Brady were willing to go to federal court if the suspension wasn't overturned.
They weren't bluffing, it turns out.
ESPN's Jim Trotterand NFL Media's Albert Breer both reported that Brady has given the NFLPA permission to appeal his four-game suspension in federal court. On Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced he upheld Brady's four-game suspension, despite Brady's appeal.