When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lowers the hammer on All-American title-winning quarterback Tom Brady next week, he will become the highest-profile player to ever be suspended in the 96-year history of the league.
This is according to sources close to the National Football League office in New York which relays the fact there is enough circumstantial evidence to implicate four-time Super Bowl-winning, first-ballot Hall of Fame-to be Brady in what has come to be known as “DeflateGate,” or illegally deflating footballs beyond acceptable league standards.
In other words, Brady knowingly and wantonly cheated to gain a competitive advantage, the league office on Park Avenue in Manhattan is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, the New York Daily News reports.
Wells Report, released this past week and clogged up cyberspace because of the depth of damning, inflammatory information, is seen as supplying Goodell with enough ammunition to suspend Brady on two counts; for breaking the rules by ordering the deflation of footballs; and by not cooperating with the investigation when he refused to turn over his cell phone to Wells’ investigators.
Now the question remains on just how many games will Brady get. The Miami Herald estimated the entire season, as has former player-turned-ESPN show host Michael Wiley. Other sports pundits say he will get about four games, while others say two.
Another report, from CSNNE, hint that Goodell could hit Brady with a six- to eight-game suspension.
Also, there is ample believe that the New England Patriots will also be fined and may lose a significant draft pick. Remember, Goodell fined the team $250,000 for the infamous SpyGate in 2007, took away a first-round draft pick, while Bill Belichick had to pony up $500,000 fine for running his spying operation.
Belichick will most likely escape this latest scandal unscathed because the Wells report completely absolves the cantankerous coach of any wrongdoing.
Former general manager Bill Polian, a former member of the competition committee, said on ESPN that the phrase “is the standard of proof that the NFL has used for about seven years or so that means in English: they’re guilty. . . . This is not running through a stop sign, this is not speeding five miles over the limit. This is a serious competitive violation that has to be treated as such by the league.”