Browns’ LB Karlos Dansby Thinks Patriots Tampered with Headsets in 2008

By Andrea Hangst

Current Cleveland Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby spent seven total years as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. And something from 2008 sticks out to him as a suspicious moment. Dansby, who appeared on PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio on Thursday, believes it’s possible that the New England Patriots, whom the Cardinals played in Week 16 of that season, intentionally tampered with the team’s headsets, or at least rendered them non-functional.

Dansby, via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, said that the Cardinals’ coach-to-player headset communication systems did not work, and that this was unusual, because, “My headset was working fine, every game. Until the very last game of the year. We get in Foxboro, they couldn’t get my headset fixed, for nothing in the world.”

Then-Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart himself noticed something unusual about the headsets in that game, saying back in 2008 that his headset also did not work. He heard nothing but static that sounded “like I had earphones on listening to music really loud.” Ultimately, the Cardinals lost, 47-7, and the Patriots went on to post an 11-5 record, narrowly missing the playoffs.

Dansby does not consider what happened a coincidence. He said on Thursday:

“I didn’t have not one problem until I went into Foxboro. You can ask anybody on that team that year. We didn’t have no problems with my headset until I got to Foxboro. And, man, I tell you every time I came to the sidelines, taking my helmet off trying to fix it. They was trying to fix it, they couldn’t get it fixed. So we had to give hand signals, and we were dead in the water. They ran when they wanted to run, they threw it when they wanted to throw.”

When Florio asked Dansby if he believed it was an intentional act in order for the Patriots to gain an added advantage over the Cardinals, he didn’t pull punches with his response, saying:

“They gotta do what they gotta do to win, man. They gonna do what they gotta do to win. It’s just how they operate.”

Though this incident is wholly unrelated to the current football-deflation scandal surrounding the Patriots, it certainly does not help the ever-increasing sentiment that the Patriots have been searching for less-than-savory competitive edges between 2007’s “Spygate” controversy and the present day. For what it’s worth, Dansby also believes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should be suspended for the entire 2015 season if, after appeal, the league still deemed that the footballs in question were deflated upon Brady’s request.

Photo: USA Today Sports