Unsurprisingly, no settlement was reached between the NFL and Tom Brady in their ongoing legal battle, as Judge Richard Berman will likely make his decision one way or the other by the end of the week.
To uphold or not to uphold? That is the question.
“There was just too big of a gap between what the NFL wanted and what Tom wanted – because what they both wanted were completely opposed to each other,” NFL kicker and NFLPA Executive Committee member Jay Feely said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “The NFL wanted him to admit guilt and to agree with some of the Wells Report or all of the Wells Report. And Tom was dead set that he would have come to some kind of agreement if he could have said that he was not complicit in any way. If it was just that he obstructed their investigation, he would have probably found common ground, but he wasn’t going to admit to something that he believed that he didn’t do.”
Brady was reportedly willing to accept a one-game suspension for not cooperating with Ted Wells’ investigation, but that reportedly wasn’t okay with the NFL – neither the length of the suspension, nor the reasoning behind it.
For Tiki Barber, it seems the NFL is just trying to justify what it has already done.
“I agree,” Feely said. “I think they got backed into a corner at the very beginning. They had very little idea about any ideal gas laws, those principles that the PSI deflated on its own when it was in cold weather and wet weather and just reacted. My analogy was they treated (a speeding ticket) like it was a homicide investigation – if anything even happened. And now they have to try and save face.”
It’ll be interesting to see what happens this fall if game balls – for any team – do not fit the PSI parameters outlined by the league, especially in colder weather.
“They desperately (wouldn’t) want that information to come out,” Feely said of the league. “The NFL and Roger Goodell (would be the losers in that situation) because you’ve taken your most high-profile player – the most successful quarterback in the history of your league who’s gone to six Super Bowls and won four of them – and you’ve defamed him. You have made him out to be a cheater and you have no evidence. It’s all circumstantial.”
Brady, meanwhile, must live with the fact that his reputation could be permanently damaged depending on Judge Berman’s ruling.
“I think that it’s damaged his reputation to some extent already,” Feely said. “People will assume that he’s a cheater. When the Patriots got in trouble before, it was more put on Bill Belichick, that he was the one who did it. This instance, Bill, from the very beginning, wiped his hands and said it wasn’t me and it’s been pointed at Tom. Obviously this is going to stick with him. Hopefully in my perspective this judge rules for Tom and exonerates him and we can move forward.”