According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL rejected the NFLPA motion that Roger Goodell recuse himself from Tom Brady‘s appeal.

This means Goodell will hear Brady’s appeal, which goes against what Brady and the NFLPA wanted. The date for the appeal reportedly hasn’t been set.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL rejected the NFLPA Motion that Roger Goodell recuse himself from Tom Brady‘s appeal.

This means Goodell will hear Brady’s appeal, which goes against what Brady and the NFLPA wanted. The date for the appeal reportedly hasn’t been set.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Those looking for a date for Tom Brady‘s appeal hearing will need to wait a little longer.

According to Pro Football Talk, the league office says no date has been set for the hearing. The NFLPA officially filed the appeal last Thursday, May 14.

Speaking for the first time since the release of the Wells Report and the subsequent punishments meted out to the Patriots, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith hammered back at the league Friday afternoon, questioning whether or not Ted Wells was truly autonomous in his work.

Those looking for a date for Tom Brady‘s appeal hearing will need to wait a little longer.

According to Pro Football Talk, the league office says no date has been set for the hearing. The NFLPA officially filed the appeal last Thursday, May 14.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith came out against the Wells Report Friday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith came out against the Wells Report Friday. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Speaking for the first time since the release of the Wells Report and the subsequent punishments meted out to the Patriots, NFLPA Eexecutive Director De Maurice Smith hammered back at the league Friday afternoon, questioning whether or not Wells was truly autonomous in his work.

“You can’t really have credibility just because you slap the word independent on a piece of paper,” Smith told ESPN.

He added: “I think the Wells Report delivered exactly what the client wanted.”

Smith also noted some of the inconsistencies in the report, saying that one part of the document credits the memory of referee Walt Anderson, while another section questions his recollection. He also took issue with the way it was written.

“The first thing that jumps out at you about the report is how negotiated the language is,” he said.

Smith said he does not know if there is some sort of agreement in place between commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Bob Kraft that included Kraft dropping his fight against in the league in exchange for Goodell reducing or eliminating the suspension of Brady. While Brady’s appeal is pending, a report from Pro Football Talk on Friday indicated that no date had been set for that meeting.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian, a frequent critic of the Patriots, joined the Middays with MFB crew on Friday to discuss Deflategate and how the Patriots are perceived around the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian, a frequent critic of the Patriots, joined the Middays with MFB crew on Friday to discuss Deflategate and how the Patriots are perceived around the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Polian, a former longtime Colts executive, had high praise for Robert Kraft, who this week announced the Patriots would not appeal their punishment for Deflategate.

“I think it’s just typical of Mr. Kraft. He’s always been the NFL’s leading citizen. He’s a leader in every way. He’s a guy who thinks about the league first, last and always,” Polian said. “Anybody else you might be a little bit surprised by the reaction, but knowing Mr. Kraft, I’m not surprised at all. He did what was best for the league rather than his own franchise.”

As for speculation that Kraft gave in to other owners, Polian said that’s unlikely due to the Patriots owner’s standing.

“No, I don’t think so. He’s one of the leading owners in the league. There’s no one going to pressure him,” Polian said. “The bottom line is he looked at the issues and recognized that while he probably would have liked things to turn out better for the Patriots in the long run, what’s important for the league is what ultimately counts. That attitude was called ‘league think,’ that phrase created, at least to my knowledge, by Pete Rozelle. And Mr. Kraft follows it to the letter.”

Polian said the issue is not about what did or did not happen, but whether the commissioner has the right to do what he did.

“It wasn’t about the argument,” Polian said. “At this point it isn’t about the Patriots or Tom Brady, even. It’s about the commissioner’s right to handle unilaterally — and in conjunction with the rights given him in the collective bargaining agreement since 1968, and tradition dating all the way back to the Black Sox in 1919, with Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of baseball. The commissioner has the right to handle the integrity of the game. It is his responsibility. And that responsibility extends not only to the owners and players and coaches and general managers and staff people, but to the fans as well. Because if the integrity of the game is called into question in any way, it affects the overall health of the game and standing of the game in society.

“So to take that from the commissioner is an absolutely bad precedent. And of course Round 2 of that takes place in Tom Brady‘s grievance hearing. But the fact that Mr. Kraft went ahead and accepted the commissioner’s decision is in line with the longstanding tradition of the league and is what is best for the league in the long run.”

Many Patriots fans have expressed their disappointment with Kraft’s decision to give up the fight. Polian said those fans should appreciate what Kraft has done and continues to do.

“I would say they’re lucky to have him as an owner, just as the NFL is lucky to have him as an owner,” Polian said. “He’s doing what’s best for the league in the long run. It isn’t about this particular issue at this point in time. It’s about what’s good for the league in the long run. That’s what outstanding owners do, it’s what commissioners do, it’s what outstanding coaches and general managers do. At some point in time you have to take off your individual team hat and put on your league hat. That’s what protecting the shield is called.”

Regarding Brady’s four-game suspension, Polian pointed to the quarterback’s refusal to cooperate, noting that NFL investigator Ted Wells gave Brady’s agent, Don Yee, the opportunity to forward only relevant texts from Brady’s cell phone, but Yee refused.

“I think many fans missed this: As part of the policy that the commissioner enunciated back in 2007 or 2008, after Spygate, he set the standard of proof, which has been talked about a lot, and in addition to that he made clear that every single person in the league had a responsibility to cooperate with any investigation that the league undertook. By any standard, Tom and his attorney were not cooperative,” Polian said. “I don’t have any doubt that they took that into consideration when they assessed the penalty.”

Polian further noted that the league does not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Brady cheated, only that it was more likely than not — which is the conclusion of the Wells Report.

“The investigation was conducted under a standard set by the commissioner back in 2008,” Polian said. “Everybody in the league knows it. Everybody in the league understands it.”

Polian added that based on the standard set by the NFL, the punishment was reasonable.

“I thought given the non-cooperation part of it — which, again, I understand that fans do not understand that, [but] people in the league do — I thought it was pretty fair,” he said.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take” appeared on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to talk about Deflategate, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s “First Take” appeared on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to talk about Deflategate, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Smith said that while he believes Brady knew the footballs were deflated, a case can be made during the appeals process for his innocence and that he could see Brady’s suspension being reduced to two games. However, he thinks Brady’s lack of cooperation will hurt him.

“What I cannot see is the complete eradication of the four-game suspension that was ultimately handed down to him,” Smith said.

According to Smith, taking his case to the courts likely would not be fruitful because of Brady’s lack of cooperation.

“You can’t make the case that he was fully cooperative because they don’t get to make that judgment.  The commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, makes that judgment,” Smith said.

Ultimately, Smith doesn’t think the saga and its fallout are of particular importance and that the scandal should not blemish Brady’s reputation.

“I’m of the mindset that even if Tom Brady is completely guilty of this, this is not something that should impugn his integrity for years to come. … I’ve been on the record as saying I don’t give a damn if he threw a Nerf football, he’s still fantastic and I know that,” Smith said.

Smith also defended Kraft’s decision not to appeal the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots, a move that hasn’t been popular among many Boston fans.

“You don’t always get your way. As an individual, you are never bigger than the brand. Robert Kraft did what he did because he is looking out for the NFL as a whole,” Smith said. “What he’s saying is that the fight that would be forthcoming isn’t worth it because you have to think about the bigger picture and the betterment of the brand.”

Smith said he understands why Patriots fans object to the decision, but that Kraft is “thinking about the NFL and not just the Patriots, and I think that’s something he should be applauded for.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On the regular-season ramifications of Brady’s punishment: Tom Brady worst-case scenario is going to be back after four games. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have owned the AFC East. Tom Brady is considered the best quarterback of this generation, he is going to be totally ticked off. … So guess what? The worst-case scenario is that you’re going to have 12 games to make up ground in the AFC East. … I’m sorry, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll be fine.”

On blaming Brady for his lack of cooperation: “You can’t give the Wells investigation or the NFL any reason to brand you uncooperative, that’s not going to work for you. Ted Wells is on the record stating that he did not want to take your cell phone, he wasn’t going to leave the room, nor was he going to look through your phone. He was going to take your word for it, if you and your lawyers decide to show him text messages and emails directly related to Deflategate and you still refuse, you know the NFL and you know they’re going use that as an excuse to label you as uncooperative. You knew that and still elected to make that decision. Ladies and gentlemen, that is on Tom Brady.”

On Spygate fallout and the Patriots’ ability to respond to controversy: “Robert Kraft basically took Bill Belichick to the woodshed in 2007. What happened thereafter? They won every remaining game in the regular season, they went undefeated, they stormed through the playoffs before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. The Patriots find a way to get it done and win on the football field. That has always been their answer in the Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick era. So what the hell is there to worry about now? They’ll be back on the football field, they’ll be winning football games and all will be well. Everybody needs to relax.”

On Robert Kraft’s capability as an owner: “I’m an incredible supporter of Robert Kraft. I think he’s a fantastic owner. … This man has presided over this organization for 21 years, he’s been as close to a paragon of virtue as an owner in this league. He has definitely assisted in the league’s elevation in terms of its popularity in America, particularly with the television contracts, he’s been on those committees. You’ve got four Super Bowl championships. You have arguably the greatest coach of the modern era, the greatest quarterback of the modern era, Mr. Kraft has something to do with that, so he doesn’t owe Bostonians nothing.”

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin