Roger Goodell says he has “great admiration” for Tom Brady, but he will protect the integrity of the game without compromise. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Besides addressing the PSI “spot checks” from the 2015 season, Roger Goodell also talked about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show Tuesday afternoon.
Goodell was asked of his relationship with Brady and if he’s been in contact with the quarterback while the Deflategate saga is still playing out.
The commissioner said he has “great admiration” for Brady, but noted he needs to protect the integrity of the game.
“My first obligation as you know, Rich, is to uphold the integrity of the game and uphold the rules of the game and make sure that all 32 teams are operating under the same rules, all players are operating under the same rules,” Goodell told Eisen. “You do that on a consistent basis. I have great admiration for Tom. I know him personally. Obviously, I respect his playing ability. He’s an extraordinary player, a sure Hall of Famer.
“I have nothing but admiration for him, but I have to make sure we continue to do the things that are necessary to protect the integrity of our game and I will do that without compromise.”
Another quarterback has been in the news of late, with Manning being accused of having HGH sent to his house in 2011 under his wife Ashley’s name. The NFL has said it will investigate the matter, which Goodell confirmed on Tuesday.
The commissioner noted, “just like in any investigation, we allow the facts to come about.”
“That report involved allegations that we take very seriously,” Goodell said. “There were allegations well beyond any individual player. We take those seriously. We’re working with law enforcement. We’re working with the world anti-doping agency, Major League Baseball, who was also involved with that, to make sure we investigate that seriously, fully, thoughtfully, and just like in any investigation, we allow the facts to come about. That is what the focus is right now. We have players and others obviously who have committed their full cooperation and that is important in the context of getting to the facts.”
Manning has been on record saying the NFL will not find any wrongdoing on his part in regards to the matter.