Roger Goodell doesn’t appear to be willing to reduce Tom Brady’s suspension. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
On Monday, the Second Circuit of Appeals court reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. Since Monday it has been reported the Patriots have more support across the league than ever, some saying they have been railroaded.
Commissioner Roger Goodell went on ‘The Herd’ with Colin Cowherd Wednesday and was asked if he would ever consider reducing the suspension if owners across the league suggested it.
“We’ve had these discussions,” Goodell said. “This was an issue just about a year ago I think right after I left the draft. When we make these decisions it’s with a tremendous amount of thought and a tremendous amount of consideration. Our staff worked very hard on it. I think we have given that full consideration.
“We’re careful and this is where this is where the commissioner’s authority is important. We don’t allow individual clubs to influence an outcome with respect to discipline because it can effect other clubs. The rules of the league, that is handed to the commissioner by the 32 clubs for exactly that reason — to avoid any club getting a competitive advantage.
“While I listen, I obviously will take anything into consideration. Sometimes it is meaningful. Sometimes there is another point in my view that is more powerful or our staff views as more powerful. You have to balance that and recognizing that it is not likely I am going to find a resolution everyone can agree on.”
Goodell was asked if he felt Monday’s ruling was viewed as a win. He said it wasn’t.
“No, we don’t look at it that way at all,” he said. “What it is, is reinforcing the commissioners authority and the leagues authority that we negotiated in our collective bargaining agreement. It also reinforced the underlying facts of the case, the process we engaged in, the fact we had a fair process, we looked at the facts fairly, including the destruction of evidence and came to a reasonable conclusion. The courts of appeals made it clear that the district court got it wrong last summer, which we felt from the moment that decision came down. That is why we appealed it.”
The biggest takeaway from Monday’s ruling was it centered around the CBA and how much power Goodell has within the league. He was asked if he ever regrets having so much power and being the one who handles player discipline.
“Well, that is not our system,” Goodell said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had this system for several decades and through collective bargaining agreements. It’s part of the commissioners responsibility. It’s something we take seriously. It is important for the commissioner to maintain the integrity of the game. That involves discipline against teams, owners, players, coaches. You have to take that position. It’s not an easy one, but it’s one vital to the game from our standpoint. That is why we hold it so dear to us making sure we do it obviously fairly and do it within the constructs of our agreement with our players. This is something we will continue to focus on and if we can improve it we will.”