Some NFL executives reportedly believe Tom Brady and the Patriots are innocent.  (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Some NFL executives reportedly believe Tom Brady and the Patriots are innocent. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

A lot of time has gone by between when Deflategate first began — the 2014 AFC championship game — and now. And during that time it appears the opinions across the league also have changed.

After it first happened almost everyone believed Tom Brady and the Patriots did something wrong. Now, 15 months later, not so much.

According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, 10 NFL sources (executives, coaches and players) have changed their opinion on the matter and believe the Patriots never cheated and the NFL got the investigation completely wrong.

One person in particular went as far as saying the Patriots should get their draft picks back.

“I hate the Patriots. I despise them,” one NFC team executive told Freeman. “But they really should get those picks back.”

Freeman also added the word many used to describe the Patriots and Brady’s situation with commissioner Roger Goodell as “railroaded.”

“The Patriots aren’t victims, but they are a cautionary tale for the rest of the league,” a general manager said to Freeman. “They’re a reminder the commissioner can do whatever he wants, and there isn’t a damn thing any team can do about it.”

Even though NFL executives seem to be coming around and siding with the Patriots, it appears to be too late, as the Patriots won’t have a first-round selection in Thursday’s draft and in all likelihood Brady will miss the first four games next season.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A former teammate is coming to Tom Brady’s defense — Drew Bledsoe, the quarterback Brady took over for in 2001.

A court reinstated Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate on Monday and Bledsoe said the whole situation is “ridiculous.”

A former teammate is coming to Tom Brady’s defense — Drew Bledsoe, the quarterback Brady took over for in 2001.

A court reinstated Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate on Monday and Bledsoe said the whole situation is “ridiculous.”

“This whole story, man, has been ridiculous to me from the start,” Bledsoe said on NESN’s Sports Today Monday night. “I don’t understand why this became such a big story, and why it merits any kind of punishment. I don’t know.

“I’m really tired of hearing about it, and I’m obviously disappointed to see that Tommy’s going to miss some games. I just don’t feel like that’s justified.”

Brady and Bledsoe were teammates in 2000 and 2001.

If Brady does in fact miss the first four games, he will miss games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Sirius XM Radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who gloated when Tom Brady’s initial Deflategate suspension was announced last year, checked in with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Tuesday morning and encouraged Patriots fans to accept Brady’s punishment following Monday’s federal appeals court decision and “get over it.” To hear the interview, go

Chris Russo

Chris Russo

Sirius XM Radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who gloated when Tom Brady’s initial Deflategate suspension was announced last year, checked in with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Tuesday morning and encouraged Patriots fans to accept Brady’s punishment following Monday’s federal appeals court decision and “get over it.” To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“You guys have got to move on now,” Russo said (loudly). “He’s going to get four games. That’s all there is to it. The Supreme Court’s not listening to this [appeal]. Those 13 judges aren’t listening to this, the whole circuit appeal court deal [en banc]. This is over. He lost. Move on. It’s not that big a deal in the big picture, for crying out loud. Move on.”

While many in New England continue to insist Brady was railroaded, Russo downplayed the controversy.

“He’s not going to jail for the rest of his life, for crying out loud. It’s four lousy football games,” Russo said. “He’s not going to jail. He’s not wrongly convicted. He’s not going to jail for 20 years. My god, it’s four games. Four Sundays of a phenomenal career he can’t play. He’ll live. He’ll live. You’ll live.”

Russo said Patriots fans should appreciate that some good can come out of this, including having a fresher Brady for the last three-quarters of the season.

“If you look at this from a Brady perspective, or a Patriots [perspective], he’s 40 years old, or whatever he is [actually 39 in August]. So maybe a little less wear and tear,” Russo said. “Look at this as a positive. Forget about arguing what the facts are. The deflate stuff, the balls, who cares? That’s over with now. I don’t mind it. He’s got to figure out a way to serve these four games. Let it go. Four games, the suspension is upheld. You’re not taking this to the Supreme Court. They’re not going to hear it anyway.”

Added Russo: “Brady should just sit back, take his medicine, let it go, put up with the lousy four games. He’s going to live. The team will be fine. [Bill] Belichick can get all motivated — he loves this. He can prove that he can coach without Brady, as he did with [Matt] Cassel the year they went 11-5 and should have made the playoffs [2008]. They can go 2-2 at worst, maybe even 3-1 — you’ve got to figure they’ll lose that Arizona game now with the backup. But as a result of that, they get Brady there for Week 5 on October 9th against the Browns, and away we go. You go 10-2, you win 12, 13 games and you take a crack at Denver again in the championship game or somebody else. What’s so bad?”

While Russo has supported commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to penalize Brady, he acknowledged that the punishment was harsh.

“I definitely wouldn’t have given him four games. Of course not. I certainly wouldn’t have done that,” Russo said. “If Brady would have handled this better with that agent of his [Don Yee] the day after the championship game, he would have gotten a $25,000 fine. But he did not handle it well. Getting rid of his cell phone was just awful, one of the worst decisions you ever can [make]. And obviously even the judges yesterday referred to that.”

That said, Russo supports the league coming down hard on the repeat offenders in New England.

“I like the idea that Goodell hit the Pats,” he said. “I like the idea that after Spygate — and nothing occurred there outside a draft pick and some fines — we like the idea that he stayed after the Patriots, that he appealed this. He could have let this go a year ago September, he did not do that. He looked at this as his powers and whether the powers that he has collectively bargained he should still have those powers, so he stayed after it with the appellate court and he won. Nobody cares now about what [Judge] Dick Berman thinks. And you’re right, no question about it, four games was too much, he shouldn’t have done it.

“Now Brady, though, Brady now is dead. Because Brady’s going to have to go with pen and pencil and he’s going to have throw himself at the mercy of the court. Goodell, maybe he gives up a game. But Brady doesn’t have a leg to stand on. So now Brady, who could have gotten a lot less than four games if he played his cards right, and if he came across here the day after the championship game and admitted, ‘You know what, I do like the balls at the minimum [PSI]. I’m taking responsibility. It’s not that big a deal. I should have known better. … We changed them at the half. We had a great second half.’ He would have gotten a $25,000 fine and a letter, and nobody would have cared.

“Instead, he challenged the NFL and he got himself in bigger trouble. And now he’s going to be sitting out four games in 2016. Which, by the way, is not a big deal, because they’ll go 2-2 at the worst. They come back with a chip on their shoulder. The Patriots can find out if [Jimmy Garoppolo], the backup, whether they can rely on him in a big situation. And [Brady] will come back flying, and the Patriots will go 13-3 and they’ll play in the championship game again. So in that sense it’s not that big a deal in the big picture.”

Russo insisted that Brady’s reputation has not taken a big hit due to this issue.

“He is an all-time great, top two or three quarterbacks in the history of the league,” Russo said. “I think overall he’s a good guy. I think he handled this poorly. But I think overall he’s a good guy. His reputation’s not tarnished. Matter of fact, if he comes back off four games and plays great again and they win 11, 12 games, he’d be sort of almost a sympathetic figure getting ready for the postseason. And you know the Patriots are going to be great. You know Belichick will be motivated. This is going to be a hell of a team again.”

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

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

It’s been 15 months since Deflategate began and it’s still going in full force following Monday’s ruling that Tom Brady will in fact be suspended the first four games of the 2016 season.

For one Patriots player, Devin McCourty, he just wants it to go away.

Devin McCourty

Devin McCourty

It’s been 15 months since Deflategate began and it’s still going in full force following Monday’s ruling that Tom Brady will in fact be suspended the first four games of the 2016 season.

For one Patriots player, Devin McCourty, he just wants it to go away.

“I’m kind of over everything with it,” McCourty said Monday night on CSNNE’s Quick Slants with Tom E. Curran and Kay Adams. “I mean, it’s pretty ridiculous. I don’t know. I think everybody will be ready to go and do whatever we have to do, but I am pretty sure a lot of people are just over everything that has to do with this whole situation — thinking it’s over, it’s not over. It’s been 15 months, so we’ll just move on and do whatever we have to do.”

McCourty isn’t pleased with Brady having to go through all of it, but hopes it can be over so the team can move on, as now it’s the second offseason they have had to deal with it.

“It’s ridiculous,” McCourty said. “The guy will be used as a front-center guy in the NFL with what you want to be as a player, or a person off the field and then he has to go through all this. We’ll see. I don’t know how it will all work out for him and what the next step he’ll have to do or chooses to do. We’ll see what happens from it, but I think as a team, it’s just when can we move on and just get past everything. I think coming off the Super Bowl a few years ago now, getting ready for last season and dealing with it and putting it behind us saying we’re moving forward, we go on, have a pretty good season and then now you come back and deal with it again. Crazy.”

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hailed the court’s decision on Deflategate Tuesday morning, telling Bloomberg TV that he was “obviously pleased” with the ruling that will now leave quarterback Tom Brady on the sidelines for the start of the 2016 season.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hailed the court’s decision on Deflategate Tuesday morning, telling Bloomberg TV that he was “obviously pleased” with the ruling that will now leave quarterback Tom Brady on the sidelines for the start of the 2016 season.

“We think that was the right decision,” he said. “They were very firm in their decision that that was within our authority and the judgments were based on solid facts. So we’re actually pleased with that, and we hope we can move on from there.”

He added: “We think it’s important that the commissioner protect the integrity of the game, that you can’t entrust that to someone who has no understanding of our business, and the appellate court yesterday reaffirmed that. So we think this is an important element of our success. We obviously have changed our discipline process through the years and we will continue to do that if we think it’s in the best interests of the NFL.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady (left) and Roger Goodell should hug and make up, like they did after Super Bowl 49. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)This isn't Yitzhak Rabin shaking Yasser Arafat's hand at the 1993 Oslo Accords.