In yet another sign that we could be closer to putting Deflategate behind us once and for all, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said today that it’s time to move past the 16-month controversy.
“We’re not planning any more steps,” Goodell said Wednesday according to USA Today. “We’d like to put the matter behind us and move forward.”
Sounds like any further negotiation between the league and the NFLPA to get Tom Brady’s four-game suspension reduced is off the table. But that’s not the case with the topic of how much power the commissioner has to rule on disciplinary issues going forward.
“We had a lot of discussions last year, but it was the determination by the court and they said it very strong,” Goodell said. “We will continue obviously to negotiate with the union on the commissioner discipline issue, we’ve done that in the past and have made changes in the past. We’re still open to doing that if there is a better system we’re willing to negotiate those things.”
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who has seen the dark side of Goodell’s discipline via the 2012 Bountygate case, said Tuesday that the commissioner has too much power.
“Forget the issues at hand here with Deflategate or whatever you want to call it. I think this was an issue again where the commissioner’s authority was challenged and the league is gonna do whatever they can to make sure they know that he is in position to make these types of unilateral decisions,” Brees said on The Dan Patrick Show. “And there’s nothing anybody can do about it.”
On Tuesday we learned that a couple of NFL owners would like to see a reduction in Brady’s suspension.
The owners told Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole that Brady’s four-game suspension punishment was too harsh for the infraction. The two unnamed owners also spoke with several other team owners, and each of them was of the belief that a one- or two-game suspension was a more reasonable discipline for Brady according to Cole.
NFLPA executive George Atallah ripped the NFL’s disciplinary process while appearing on ESPN Radio’s Russillo & Kanell on Tuesday.
“If we had a reasonable or logical partner, then this thing would have been settled forever ago,” Atallah said of the lingering Deflategate battle. “If we have a reasonable and logical and fair disciplinary process, then four games for something as trivial as this, even if you believe that Tom [Brady] did do it — which there’s still a lot of doubts, if not complete doubt about that — is ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, still no word from the NFLPA on their next steps or reaction from the Brady camp.