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.”