Eli Manning Claims there was a “Noticeable Difference” When He Experimented with a Lightly Deflated Football

Deflategate has exploded on to the scene, and the bottom line is that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady received a four-game suspension for his alleged role in the scandal.

While Brady stirred in the agony over his eventual punishment, he drew supporters and haters along the way. While remaining somewhat neutral on the situation, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning shared his thoughts on the suspension (via NY Post).

Tom has been a friend of mine. I don’t like to see anyone get suspended. … In no way am I glad to see this happen. Obviously the football, I think it is about integrity and you have to follow the rules. If someone’s breaking the rules I understand you’re gonna get punished for it.

While Manning is showing a little love for his buddy, he did admit that he experimented with slightly deflated footballs after the Deflategate scandal broke in January, claiming there was a “noticeable difference” in the grip.

I didn’t know what pressure was in a ball or what the rules were.

This offseason I had a couple of different pressures just to see what it felt like, to see how much different it was and yeah, there is a difference, there is a noticeable difference. Whether it’s an advantage or not, I guess that’s all dependent on what a quarterback likes or what it’s like in cold weather, when it’s wet. There’s other factors into it maybe also.

Manning referred to the NFL’s punishment as “a pretty big statement.” Not only was Brady suspended for the four games, but the team was fined $1 million and lost its 2016 first-round draft pick along with a fourth-round pick in 2017.

Photo: USA Today Sports