The war of words have officially started regarding the NFL’s decision to uphold the four-game suspension it handed down to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
This time it’s not the league office or the NFL Players Association sending out a strong public message relating to Tuesday’s decision. Instead, the Patriots themselves released a strongly-worded attack against the NFL.
“We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling by Commissioner Goodell. We cannot comprehend the league’s position in 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,” the statement reads, via the Patriots’ official website. “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.”
This makes us wonder whether the Patriots regret their decision not to appeal the punishment the NFL handed down to the defending champs. Remember, while no one within the franchise’s front office hierarchy was implicated in the Ted Wells Report, New England was docked a first-round pick in next year’s draft, fourth-round pick in 2017 and fined $1 million due to Deflategate.
Outside of that, there really isn’t much the Patriots statement does. The organization has no real voice in what promises to be a protracted legal battle between the union and the NFL.
The words of condemnation, however, do lead us to wonder whether Patriots owner Robert Kraft will ever have the same working relationship with the commissioner. Prior to Deflategate, the two had been considered great friends. Now, it’s highly unlikely that they are even on speaking terms.
Photo: USA Today Sports