By Jake Brown
It took about three months, but finally some sort of news has come out on the entire DeflateGate saga involving the New England Patriots. Ready for it…
It’s more probable than not that Patriots personnel participated in violations of the NFL Playing Rules.
All of that and it looks like we’re not much closer to an answer. Text messages exchanged between Jim McNally, a part-time Patriots employee for 32 years, and John Jastremski, the Patriots’ equipment assistant, were released Wednesday. There should be more layers that come out to this entire story, but the Ted Wells’ report indicates that Tom Brady was likely involved and could face some sort of penalty.
Former Pro Bowl NFL safety Ryan Clark, who recently played for the Washington Redskins in 2014 and retired in February, had some intriguing statements to say on the matter. Clark joined me and former NFL tight end Ben Troupe on Brown and Troupe (available on Play.it and iTunes) to break it all down.
“This just seals the deal for me. He’s going to have full control of the balls he’s using to win a playoff game. You know Tom Brady had some awareness of how these balls would be inflated or deflated,” the former safety said.
“I didn’t need the report to tell me that. The issue is the way that he vehemently denied having any knowledge of this happening. That’s where the problem comes in. The NFL feels like it was misled in the investigation.”
If Brady is indeed guilty for having the balls deflated in the playoffs, the question remains regarding what the punishment would be for the four-time Super Bowl Champion.
“I expect and would like the NFL to come down with the hammer on Tom Brady. Now will they? I’m not sure,” Clark said. “I do believe he needs to miss game time. I also believe he needs to miss checks, plural. There should be a four-game suspension levied.”
The man who will end up being the one to hand down any suspension would be commissioner Roger Goodell. We all know the mistakes Goodell has made in terms of discipline in the past, and in particular, the Ray Rice situation. The Patriots received somewhat of a slap on the wrist for SpyGate, but it’s time to get down to business now for the commissioner.
“This is a team’s second time being investigated for cheating. If he doesn’t levy a heavier penalty this time, then all of that ‘I’m here for the game. I want to preserve the integrity of the shield,’ all that goes out of the window,” Clark said. “As long as his (Goodell’s) game grows, his bosses make more money. The people that he reports to, the side of the table he sat on during negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement, that side is winning. That’s who it’s important to.”
Could this be the last straw for Goodell is he doesn’t punish Brady and the Patriots harshly?
“Do I think he should be fired? Not necessarily, because as far as that side wants him to do, he’s done his job in many ways,” Clark said. “The one thing I have to give him is throughout those negotiations, he found a way to keep his power. In keeping that power, he found his way to always keep a thumb on top of the players. That’s what allows him to levy out these fines. I wish some of the decisions he makes as far as the players go were better for the players, but as long as his power is where it’s at, he has that right.
“Would I consider him a good commissioner for the players? No, he’s awful for the players. As far as growing the game, I guess he’s done his job. His decisions are totally arbitrary. They follow no guidelines or regulations even set by himself. That’s the hard thing for the players to swallow…The way he relates to the players, the way he treats the players, the way he reacts to the things that players do, he hasn’t been a good commissioner to us and to the players of this game in that sense.”
Clark also touched on the NFL Draft, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, the Jets QB situation, and his Cure League tackling sickle cell.
You can also hear the show portion of the Brown and Troupe podcast below. We debate in studio Cheesecake Factory vs Junior’s as I pop my cheesecake cherry. We also prank call Mama Brown while nearly giving her a Mother’s Day week heart attack. Also, our reaction to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and whether it hurts boxing as a whole. We break down the NBA playoffs and injuries to point guards, and Boomer Esiason taking on Isiah Thomas.
Jake Brown is Program Manager as well as a Columnist at CBSSportsRadio.com. He hosts Brown and Troupe with former NFL tight end Ben Troupe on CBSLocalSports.com, Play.it, and iTunes. Jake lives in Queens, NY and has lived through being a Mets, Knicks, Jets fan his whole life. Find him at the big game, concert, or in the studio.