NFL Wire News

Goodell calls Brady ‘great young man’

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The Sports Xchange

Roger Goodell might have his differences with Tom Brady because of the Deflategate scandal, but the NFL commissioner still respects the New England Patriots quarterback.

On July 28, Goodell upheld a four-game suspension for Brady’s alleged role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game in January.

“Listen, he’s a great player and he’s a great young man,” Goodell told the Canton Repository during an interview Friday inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

“We issued the decision just last week. We’re in the midst of litigation to … ensure that that’s enforced the way we ruled on that, after a long process that is established in our collective bargaining agreement. That’s something we’ll play through.”

Goodell was asked by the Repository if the suspension will tarnish Brady’s legacy and standing as future Hall of Famer.

“The integrity of the game is the most important thing,” said Goodell, only a few feet from the Hall of Fame’s mission statement that expresses the importance of the promoting the values of the game. “The integrity of the game is something we will always protect. The rules apply to everybody.

“That is my job in particular, to make sure everyone from our players to our coaches, to our fans and our partners, that they all recognize we’re going to play by these sets of rules, and that’s part of our values and standards.”

The NFL Players Association appealed Goodell’s ruling to federal court. Goodell and Brady are due to meet in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday for a court-mandated settlement hearing.

With the ruling by Goodell, Brady is slated to miss the Patriots’ first four regular-season games: the Sept. 10 home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sept. 20 at the Buffalo Bills, Sept. 27 at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After a bye Week 4, the Patriots return visit the Dallas Cowboys on Oct 11.

Second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start in place of Brady.

Brady would be eligible to return in Week 6 at the Indianapolis Colts in a Sunday night game against the team that helped pave the way for the investigation after it was determined the Patriots used underinflated footballs during the AFC title game.

New England beat Indianapolis 45-7 to advance to the Super Bowl, in which the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.


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