Good morning, here are Sunday’s New England Patriots news 7-17 notes and what’s happening around the AFC East.
Brady’s role in Deflategate Ends, The Battle Will Recommence in 2020:
In a surprise move on Friday, Tom Brady capitulated to the NFL and will not be part of the NFLPA’s petition to the Supreme Court if indeed they continue the case. In opting to give in and accept his punishment, Brady will serve his four-game suspension.
But make no mistake, Deflategate isn’t over. Brady’s portion of it is. He’ll sit out Weeks 1-4 in what has to be the most overblown league generated fiasco ever. So while the legion of Pats haters does a victory lap, the players association braces for the fight that is coming when the next CBA comes due in 2020.
And you can bet there will be a work stoppage because the league and Roger Goodell are not going to give up the absolute power that he now holds over the players. And they, at least the smart ones know that he can suspend any of them whenever he wants because the courts say he has the power to do so. And evidence-smevidence… who cares about that. Goodell doesn’t need any. So Deflategate ISN’T over.
Brady’s Decision Was His but Not Necessarily the Best One:
No one knows what kind of strain Brady has gone thru for the past 18 months. But one can only imagine what a tough, roller coaster the past two seasons have been like. First dealing with the calls of he was done and no longer a top NFL QB. Then after catching fire and on the verge of returning to the Super Bowl, having your integrity and legacy called into play? And playing last season with a suspension looming over his head.
So if he just got worn down by the entire fiasco and mentally couldn’t put up with any longer, then so be it. We don’t sit in his shoes and can’t imagine what it’s been like for him.
We also heard that IF the Supreme Court agreed to hear his case, and a stay was issued that a ruling against him could impact him later in the season and even during the playoffs. While that scenario would be a nightmarish one for the Patriots 2016 season, it is exactly why he should have stayed in the fight.
This is not only about the ridiculous 4-game suspension that Goodell levied, nor just about his legacy but about how this will effect NFLPA members down the road. Goodell’s power trip will affect many players down the road and this is an opportunity to fix that without going thru a work stoppage in the future. This case would be a benefit to all NFL players, present and future. Regardless of how difficult this fight wouldn’t have been to win; this was one that should have been seen thru to the end.
You don’t just fight the fights you can win; you fight the fights that need fighting. He should have stuck it out.
Did Kraft Blast the League or Did His Words Ring Hollow?
After Brady announced his decision not to contest his suspension, Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement that seemed to put the hammer down on the league.
Kraft wrote, ““From day one, I have believed in Tom and given him my unwavering support in his pursuit to rightfully clear his name of any wrongdoing. That support extends throughout our organization and has only grown more steadfast as the preponderance of scientific evidence has exonerated Tom. Unfortunately, this stopped being about air pressure a long time ago.” (emphasis is mine)
He further added, “This entire process has indelibly taken a toll on our organization, our fans and most importantly, Tom Brady. His reluctant decision to stop pursuing further action and to put this situation behind him is what he feels is best for the team in preparation for this season and is fully supported by me and our entire organization.”
Kraft called the sham investigation of Ted Wells, “flawed and biased from the start,” and said that Brady wasn’t given due process. Strong stuff.
So it is difficult to compare those strong words with some of the confusing actions on his part. Because, as popular as he is as an owner, and he’s been the best this organization has ever seen, he’s played both sides of the fence.
After coming out like gangbusters before the Super Bowl and demanding an apology, he went to the owners meeting and finding no support among the Jones, Rooneys, and Maras…who wanted their pound of flesh, he caved. He caved quicker than a paper house in a typhoon. In a statement, he meekly accepted the NFL’s punishment of losing two draft picks, a $1,000,000 fine and having his QB get socked with a 4-game suspension.
He flipped-flopped again telling the media and fans that it was wrong for him to have put his trust in the league. But the pull of the billionaire boys club is strong and both he and Goodell have been seen schmoozing for the press on a number of occasions since.
Now this latest statement after Brady’s decision doesn’t feel like the slam that fans and some of the media are saying it was. Those words are ringing a bit hollow. One has to wonder what Brady truly feels about all of this. We’ll probably never find out.
Good luck to Nate Ebner who should find out his fate on if he makes the National Rugby team soon. The US National Team is expected to announce their roster tomorrow for the 2016 Summer Olympics. If Ebner makes the cut, he will be in Rio and take part in the Olympic tournament that begins on August 6.
Be sure to check out our podcast “Patriots 4th and 2”. We’ve been doing a series of podcasts lately dealing with the Pats opponents in the AFC East and conducting a season preview of each team. We recently sat down with Dolphins beat writer Antwan Staley and took a look at Miami.
East Bound and Down…AFC East Notes:
Dolphins Landry, the New Face of Miami Sports?
With the departure of Dwayne Wade from the Miami Heat via free agency, there is a void on who is the new face of sports in the city of Miami. Well, the Dolphins may just have an answer for that in the name of Jarvis Landry.
There was a nice piece on NFL Spin Zone that spelled out Landry’s qualifications among them, “the personality, is a big-time playmaker and has a silly haircut that seems to be popular with the kids. Oh, yea, and a cool nickname.”
And of course, Landry is an outstanding talent that we watch at least twice a year. If Landry keeps improving and plays like he’s expected to in 2016, he could easily be the new face of Miami sports.
Jets Deal with Mo Wilkerson, Opens the Door for Fitz:
The Jets, to no one’s surprise, finally got a deal done with Muhammad Wilkerson their Pro Bowl DT. Wilkerson is one of the best DTs in the game and was rewarded with a 5-year deal worth $86 million dollars, with $37 million guaranteed in the first two years and $54 million guaranteed by year three.
But the low cap hit on the 2016 year of his deal opens the door for an offer if they choose to, to finally get QB Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the building. Prior to the Wilkerson extension, the Jets were sitting on just $3.7 million dollars in salary cap room. Now they can offer Fitz closer to what he’s looking for. Stay tuned…
Bills’ Williams Suspended First Four Games of 2016:
Shortly after trolling the Patriots with a silly meme on hearing the Tom Brady suspension news, the Bills got bad news of their own. Running back Karlos Williams will be suspended for the first four weeks of the season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Williams is expected to take a heavier workload in 2016 to keep LeSean McCoy fresh and healthy this season. He scored nine touchdowns in 2015, tied for tops on the Bills. Now he’ll have to wait to make his first appearance until after the first New England game on October 2. He’s eligible to return to the team on October 3.
And it compounds with the news of rookie running back Jonathan Williams being arrested for suspicion of DWI in Arkansas this week. He’s facing a two-game suspension but it probably wouldn’t be enforced until 2017.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills DeflateGate Jarvis Landry Jonathan Williams Julian Edelman Karlos Williams Miami Dolphins Muhammad Wilkerson New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Rob Gronkowski Ryan Fitzpatrick Tom Brady