By now, several of you have probably read the report submitted by league investigator Ted Wells that details his findings related to the New England Patriots allegedly deflating their footballs prior to AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. If you haven’t read it, you can do so right here. Wells report appears to be thorough and his claim that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had at least some knowledge that the deflation was going on appears to also be justified. Now that Wells has done his job, we all must wait to see if the league will properly do theirs, and by that I mean they should suspend Brady for multiple games.
While I do not believe that the under-inflated footballs gave the Patriots and Brady a huge advantage in the game against Colts, the fact that the quarterback “allegedly” attempted to break the rules is huge, as it hurts the integrity of game. Brady also lied publicly about not having any knowledge of the under-inflation, or any involvement in it.
“I have no knowledge of anything. I have no knowledge of any wrongdoing. I’m very comfortable saying that. I’m very comfortable saying that nobody did — as far as I know,” Brady said during a press conference in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
“I don’t know everything. I also understand that I was in the locker room preparing for a game,” Brady continued. “I don’t know what happened over the course of the process with the footballs. I was preparing for my own job.”
While the league could certainly fine Brady for whatever involvement he did have with the purposeful under-inflation of the footballs, that simply won’t be enough. For starters, they could fine him $5 million and he wouldn’t even miss it. According to Forbes, the Patriots quarterback earns roughly $7 million in off-the-field endorsements per year. He’s also scheduled to earn $8 million in 2015 from the Patriots in addition. Besides, how many of you think the league would actually fine him that amount of money?
The way to teach Brady a lesson is not by hitting him in the wallet. Hitting his relationship with his teammates by suspending two or more games would be way more effective, in my opinion.
Should Brady come away from this with only a fine, I’m sure he will be laughing it all off in private. The league has to make a stand against their golden-boy and accept the fact that he’s not as squeaky-clean as they’d like you to believe.
Brady knew what was happening and now he must pay the ultimate price that isn’t tied to money.