Survey shows most players believe Patriots deflated footballs but aren’t cheaters

By Rachel Wold

In a survey performed by ESPN’s NFL Nation, more than 100 players answered various questions about the “Deflategate” saga.

While not every player answered each of the 13 questions, the general consensus was that players believe the footballs the New England Patriots used intentionally deflated footballs in the AFC Championship match against the Indianapolis Colts.

However, 84 percent of the players said they were not upset about the incident, while 58 percent claimed the Patriots are not cheaters.

Some other surprising numbers from the survey include 85 percent of the players still believing that the Patriots will make it to the playoffs, even if Brady sits out the first four games. Additionally, a staggering 88 percent of those polled believe that commissioner Roger Goodell should not have decided the punishment for Brady.

You can access the complete results of ESPN’s 13-question survey here.

Brady also has the backing of the NFL Players Association as a whole. Brady, his attorneys and the NFLPA met in court opposite Goodell for a settlement hearing in front of judge Richard M. Berman on Wednesday. The hearing took place to determine if the NFL acted legally when it suspended Brady for the four games or to potentially influence the parties to reach a settlement regarding the amount of games Brady eventually will sit out, if any.

This whole Deflategate scandal, which reportedly ran up a $5 million tab for the investigation, appears to have gotten wildly out of hand. At the end of the day, most would agree that Brady had knowledge about the deflated footballs, but many fans—and players—simply do not care.