NFL Wire News

Just Sayin’: Reaction to Deflategate punishment

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The Sports Xchange

The NFL’s punishment for the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady for underinflating footballs drew a wide range of reaction Monday.

While some felt a four-game suspension for the quarterback, plus the loss of first-round and fourth-round draft picks and a $1 million fine for the Patriots, was an excessive reaction to a minor infraction, others felt the league should have come down harder on a team that carries the stigma of a repeat offender.

A look at what media and football figures are Just Sayin’:

USA Today’s Nancy Armour — “Yes, suspending Brady four games and docking the Patriots two draft picks for what is little more than a junior high prank is harsh. But if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had let the Super Bowl champs and their Glamour Boy slide, it would have sent a signal that rules don’t matter, diminishing the league and everyone associated with it.”

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora — “The NFL has been coming hard at those it believes run afoul of the rules in recent years — with middling success (i.e., the final ruling of former commissioner Paul Tagliabue in the Bountygate mess) — and the strategy of aiming high, figuring things get knocked down some on appeal, might apply here as well. With Kraft such a powerful owner and other teams watching closely to see whether Roger Goodell would be willing to go after him with such vigor, perhaps there was some discussion of that dynamic as well before this discipline was announced.”

Yahoo Sports’ Frank Schaub — “The NFL screwed up this punishment, going for the standing ovation from a mostly Patriots-hating public (all good teams are hated, and the Patriots surely rub people the wrong way) instead of doing what was right.”

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel — “Cheaters never win? Tell that to Brady and Bill Belichick and that recidivist rules-breaking organization they call the New England Patriots. They won big. Hell, they won it all. Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season, and the Patriots have been docked $1 million and one draft choice in each of the next two drafts … and none of it means anything compared to that ill-gotten Lombardi Trophy in Foxborough and those Super Bowl rings being worn by Belichick, Brady and the rest of them.”

Boston Globe columnist Eric Wilbur — “This was NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s make-up test from the very beginning, an opportunity to shift attention from his whirlwind incompetency to another target: the Patriots and Golden Boy Brady. … Did Brady lie? Yup. It certainly seems so. Was he put in an impossible situation by the NFL, which salivates at the thought of the TV ratings he brings the league partners? Most definitely.”

New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica — “You cannot read the report and believe, truly, that Brady was innocent here, whether (NFL investigator Ted) Wells described him being ‘generally aware’ of what happened or not. You cannot believe this because Brady never acted innocent or outraged. Mostly he was a smart guy trying to act dumb, about this dumb a crime.”

Mike Reiss, ESPN’s New England Patriots reporter — “No sugarcoating it. The NFL just crushed the Patriots. This is an extreme reaction despite not having definitive proof.”

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, via Twitter — “Well done @NFL … #Deflategate”

Former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson, via Twitter — “Rough penalty. But, when you are ‘habitual line steppers,’ what do you expect? #DeflateGate”

Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, via Twitter — “THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!! SMH #PATSNATION STAND UP!!!!!”

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Darnell Dockett, via Twitter — “You have to … love the Patriots. They do anything to win a Super Bowl. #mykindofteam”

New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford, via Twitter — “Tom Brady suspended 4 games…. That’s just ridiculous. They are comparing it to steroid use. Preposterous! What are your thoughts?”

Cleveland Browns safety Donte Whitner, via Twitter — “I honestly feel bad for Tom Brady!! I know firsthand the type of competitor he is & how much work he puts in… Came down too hard on him!”

Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, via Twitter — “To win four Super Bowl is outstanding. I know Tom Brady is a great competitor and leader. I feel sorry for him and Patriots nation!”

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, via Twitter: “T. Brady suspended 4 games for violating integrity of the #NFL. T.Pryor suspended 5 games in NFL for Tattoos while in college. AMAZING!”

Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, via Twitter — ” Apparently ‘probably’ deflating footballs is worse than (domestic violence).”

Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, via Twitter — “It’s a good thing the @nfl suspended Tom Brady now everyone knows that NOBODY is above the system #NFL #FairGame”

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, via Twitter — “I think the suspension is warranted, they came down hard on the organization though. #Deflategate”

Former cornerback Phillip Buchanon, via Twitter — “The Patriots are habitual rule breakers, and that’s why they win championships”

Former tight end Jake Ballard, via Twitter — “4 games?? What a joke! Tom Brady’s getting the same suspension as PED users… Crime does not match the punishment #lostmorerespectfortheNFL”

New England safety Patrick Chung, via Twitter — “(Expletive) ridiculous.”


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