Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the latest with Tom Brady and what Robert Kraft’s statement meant Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The biggest story from Wednesday was Robert Kraft coming out swinging against the league and Roger Goodell with the way the Deflategate case has been handled. Schefter said it would have been tough for Kraft to take this to court and go against the league, which is likely why back in May he accepted the penalties against the team.

Schefter said Kraft’s message is loud and clear now.

“I think part of the reason he didn’t go to court before and part of the reason why he accepted his punishment was because he had a lack of recourse at that point in time,” Schefter said. “It was not a CBA that protected him. There was not something that said he could take this to court. It’s not what you want to do in any particular case, maybe you succeed, maybe you prevail, maybe you don’t. You bloody your partner. Not worth it to him at that point in time. Not with the relationship that he had there. He fell on his sword there.

“Now, I think his words carry a message. The people in New York know he’s not happy. I think there’s a lot on the line here. Somebody in the end here is going to look very bad. Even if the NFL wins this court case, they still lose because they’ve basically beaten up their favorite son (Tom Brady), their poster child. When the poster child of the sport has just got abused here the last six months. Even if you win in court, what do you win there by doing that to a guy who you’ve alienated from the league for the rest of his life. … Come to the Super Bowl, make an appearance — that’s never happening again.”

Schefter said the whole thing has been botched from the start.

“Here’s the amazing part, this was not some regional game like New England-Jacksonville. This is the AFC championship game where the league has 30 representatives in New England for the game,” he said. “The day before you can call New England and say look, ‘We’ve got complaints about this. We want to let you know that we’re going to be checking and monitoring this. If there’s any funny business, there’s going to be a steep price to pay.’ That didn’t happen. That goes to my initial point. This little brush fire, we allowed this to burn down the whole house.”

“This whole thing that was a little brush fire, has been allowed to turn into an inferno,” he added. “This whole inconsequential situation about air pressure has dominated news headlines for months. It’s staggering to me that his could happen. That people allowed this to happen.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more visit, weei.com/patriots.

On league not sending out warning before suspending Brady: “Tom Brady, or any other quarterback, or any other player in the league has never been handed literature that says, ‘If you mess with the psi and deflate footballs you will be suspended for X number of games.’ That’s never happened. That is going to be the foundation for their court case. Have we ever seen anyone mess with the air pressure and be suspended four games?”

On Chris Mortensen’s report of 11 of 12 Patriots game balls being under inflated: “First of all, I’ve never had in depth conversations with Chris about this story. Chris is as good of a reporter that there is. He’s been a pioneer in this industry. When he decides to do things, he has a reason for doing them. I’ll stand behind him as a reporter and a man. And I love him. I don’t know the particulars of what happened. I really don’t. I can tell you this, somebody wanted information — you’re blaming him. I will say this: No. 1, I am sure he has an explanation. No. 2, any reporter in the country if they have high level people calling them, giving them information, almost anybody is going to run with that.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The summer is not off to a great start for LeGarrette Blount.

The Patriots running back failed Wednesday’s team-mandated conditioning test before the start of camp after completing just 12 of 20 runs, according to the Boston Globe.

LeGarrette Blount was placed on the NFI list Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

LeGarrette Blount was placed on the NFI list Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The summer is not off to a great start for LeGarrette Blount.

The Patriots running back failed Wednesday’s team-mandated conditioning test before the start of camp after completing just 12 of 20 runs, according to the Boston Globe.

Blount was one of three Patriots to be placed on the non-football injury list Wednesday, along with defensive lineman Alan Branch and Caylin Hauptmann. As WEEI.com’s Chris Price noted, this is not unusual at the start of camp for players who either fail a conditioning test or a physical.

Blount was suspended one game by the NFL for his role in a drug-related vehicle stop with then-Steelers teammate Le’Veon Bell last summer. Blount is expected to miss the season opener against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10 at Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The NFLPA filed an appeal Wednesday on behalf of Tom Brady in U.S. District Court of Minnesota to vacate the four-game suspension upheld by commissioner Roger Goodell based on the following points, directly from their press release.

The NFLPA filed an appeal today on behalf of Tom Brady in U.S. District Court of Minnesota to vacate the four-game suspension upheld by commissioner Roger Goodell based on the following points, directly from their press release.

— There was no direct evidence in the Wells Report so the discipline was based on a made up “general awareness” standard to justify such absurd and unprecedented punishment.

— Roger Goodell delegated his disciplinary authority to Troy Vincent, violating our Collective Bargaining Agreement, and then as the “arbitrator,” he ruled on his own improper delegation, botching basic arbitration law and fundamental fairness.

— A collectively bargained policy already exists regarding tampering with equipment that provides only for fines, not suspensions. Troy Vincent ignored this policy when he issued his initial discipline. The policy that Vincent did apply to Brady only covers teams and team executives, not players. The NFL once again violated players’ right to advance notice of discipline to try to justify unprecedented punishment.

— No player in NFL history has served a suspension for “non-cooperation” or “obstruction.”  And, in this case, the evidence is paper-thin.

— The appeals hearing held on June 23, 2015 defied any concept of fundamental fairness and violated the principles of our CBA.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Robert Kraft came out in defense of his Patriots' family Wednesday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)FOXBORO -- The NFL is about to find out why you don't mess with the Kraft family. Especially not the patriarch.

You don't double-cross Robert Kraft without some consequences.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

BIO | ARCHIVE


How will the snaps be distributed between Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady this summer?</span></p>
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The Patriots placed running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive lineman Alan Branch and offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann on the non-football injury list on Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire.

LeGarrette Blount was placed on the NFI list Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

LeGarrette Blount was placed on the NFI list Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

The Patriots placed running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive lineman Alan Branch and offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann on the non-football injury list on Wednesday, according to the NFL transaction wire.

No reason was given for the move, but players who have been placed on NFI prior to the start of camp in year’s past have often found themselves there because they have failed the conditioning test and/or their physical. (Players on the non-football injury list are there because they are classified as unable to practice as a result of conditions unrelated to football. They are eligible to return to the practice field at any time.)

In addition, the transaction wire revealed that the Patriots came to terms with exclusive rights free agent James Develin. The fullback has been with New England the last three seasons. And the team officially announced the signing of veteran cornerback Tarell Brown. The 30-year-old Brown is a veteran of eight NFL seasons with the Niners (2007-13) and Raiders (2014). The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder has played in 114 games with 61 starts and has tallied 295 total tackles, 11 interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, 59 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

John Dowd, attorney, former special counsel to ex-MLB commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti and author of the Dowd Report that led to Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball, joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to give his take on Tom Brady‘s situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Dowd read the Wells Report and said he had trouble nailing down what the report itself was saying.

“As they say in the ‘Seinfeld’ show, it’s all about nothing,” Dowd said. “I just could not figure out what it was about, and I read the Wells Report, and I read the subsequent studies that sort of shredded the science in the report, but I couldn’t find anywhere where Tom Brady directed anybody to do anything. So I’ve sort of been troubled watching this thing and how it’s been put together and so I’ve not seen a basis for the punishment of Tom Brady, and I didn’t think the Wells Report was very well done.”

He also said the way the league has thus far handled the issue of Brady destroying his cell phone was an “ambush,” and that the NFL “blindsided” him.

“[Brady] explained, as I understand it, that he couldn’t turn over his phone, but he would do everything else to cooperate and that was apparently acceptable to Wells,” Dowd said. “I mean, Wells noted in his report it was not helpful, but he didn’t charge him or recommend he be charged with failing to cooperate with the commissioner, which can be a big deal. You don’t cooperate with the commissioner in baseball, and you’re going to sit down, you’re not going to play ball, so it’s a very serious charge, which was not made. So Tom went up on appeal and continued to cooperate, continued to try to get the messages. They had already concluded that they had enough so I don’t understand.

“And apparently in some conversation, he described how his assistant handled his phone, and my own theory is that they had taken such a beating on the Wells Report, that it had been shredded by all kinds of experts, that they had to grab something to save face. And as you know, this commissioner has had great difficulty with his disciplinary decisions, and so that’s just my theory. I don’t know if that’s a fact or not, but I do know one thing. It was very unfair to cite that phone and its destruction as evidence of consciousness of guilt or obstruction of justice. He was never charged with that, and fair play and due process require that you receive notice of that and you have a chance to answer that, so that’s what struck me.”

Dowd noted that everything regarding the phone read as though the NFL was just looking to find a way to get to Brady.

“It appears that they were trying very hard to find something adverse to Tom, and because of the weak standard, the weak facts, the lousy science, etc.,” he said. “The other thing, if I were commissioner, or counsel to the commissioner, and given how controversial that Wells Report was, I would make sure the public got an answer and a response about all the science, but it doesn’t look like Goodell looked at that critically at all, and that’s troubling to me.

“The one thing we did in the Rose case was everything we did that was recorded was handed over to the Rose lawyers and to the public, including all of my notes and all my colleagues’ notes. There was nothing that wasn’t put out there, because a lot’s riding on it, particularly the confidence of the public and the fans who are so important to this game.”

Dowd took issue with the fact that the standard for this case is “more probable than not” when his report was based on the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” as well.

“The idea that you would injure someone’s career or affect it in some way, some adverse way based on more probable than not is nonsense,” he said. “I don’t know such a standard in the law or anywhere else so that was very troubling to me.”

He added that as he understands it, “Every team in the league was doing what the Patriots were doing.” Dowd offered that if the league is really this concerned about how footballs are taken care of, it should follow in baseball’s footsteps and have officials be the only ones touching the balls.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen