ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to discuss what he’s heard about all NFL matters at the owners’ meetings in Arizona this week, most notably Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Roger Goodell told SI’s Peter King Monday Ted Wells’ investigation into Deflategate is “getting near the end.” Schefter said he hasn’t heard much, but like all the other league investigations, he does expect “stiff and stern” punishments if wrongdoing is found.
“I have not heard much about it at all,” said Schefter. “I do know they are having a difficult time connecting with Tom Brady at some point. I don’t know if they actually interviewed him or not. I still never heard the answer to that. I know that there were some issues trying to schedule an interview that I don’t know did or did not [happen]. I don’t know where they are at and I don’t know when we are going to find out. Obviously everyone is waiting on that.
“There are all these investigations going on simultaneously — the Browns texting, the Jets tampering [Darrelle] Revis or Falcons piping in crowd noise. I think we’re going to see a couple of these situations, some of these teams, losing draft picks. I don’t know how it will shake out, but I do think NFL will be stiff and stern in its punishment if it finds wrongdoing was done.”
Schefter isn’t surprised with how long the investigation has taken, and he looked back at Wells’ last investigation into the Miami Dolphins and the bullying allegations with the team a few years ago.
“No, because they retained Ted Wells and if you look back at the Miami situation they hired him roughly the first week of November and his report came out on Valentine’s Day, so that was roughly three and a half months,” said Schefter. “Ted Wells wants to be very thorough and he wants to go back to when they changed the ruling on the air pressures in the balls where they could take some balls out where Tom Brady and Peyton Manning lobbied so quarterbacks could dictate the air pressure in the balls, and so he’s going back to then. There is a lot of background work involved in this and because of that he is trying to be thorough and exhaustive and come up with something that is conclusive and tells the right story whatever that story is.”
The Patriots will play in the first game of the 2015 NFL season on a Thursday night in September at Gillette Stadium, customary for the defending Super Bowl champions. Schefter is hearing the most likely opponents are either the Eagles or Steelers.
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
On Patriots’ decision to allow Revis to sign with the Jets: “The reason they let him get to the Jets — a few reasons. It wasn’t like they let him get there. They made what they thought was a fair bid. The Patriots are very smart business people and they have handled their football operation in a very successful way over the years and they have a certain price they are willing to go to and they are not going to pay more than that. They are not one of these teams that gets into bidding wars.”
On the Jets signing Revis: “The Jets did what they had to do. They had all this cap space. Does it make sense? Is it going to make a difference of them winning the Super Bowl next year? Probably not. The Jets fans [are all fired up now]. They are excited. They don’t care.”
On the AFC East’s offseason: “I think the whole division has gotten very incestuous and interesting. We have Jets disciples spread throughout the AFC East. Mike Tannenbaum in Miami, Rex Ryan in [Buffalo] with some of his assistant coaches and we have a whole new regime in New York. It all branches out from New York and they are all trying to bring down New England and they are all making moves designed to try to slow down the Patriots. Now when you look at it, they all in my mind [got] better. Every single one of those teams has gotten better, but there are still a couple of factors that cannot be duplicated and that is Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The quarterback and head coach. They still remain in place.”