Tom Brady was suspended, the Patriots were hammered and the fallout continues.
What should we make of the latest NFL soap opera?
“I think that Tom Brady is certainly guilty of something,” Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub host Jon Wallach said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There’s an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence. The evidence is circumstantial, but I think it’s enough, and I understand why Tom Brady was suspended.”
The four-game suspension, however, is only part of the punishment. The Patriots were also fined $1 million and will lose two draft picks, including a first-rounder in 2016. To Wallach, this is over the top.
“In my mind, it just seems to be the NFL punishing the Patriots for their arrogance,” he said. “Now those of us up here in the media are used to this. I mean, anybody who’s covered a Bill Belichick press conference has seen the arrogance for yeas and years and years. And Amy, you were here. You know exactly how this goes. The fun part of being a Patriots beat reporter or beat writer is when the Patriots go to the playoffs – and it’s happened a lot. (And then) news organizations and people from out of town try to cover this team and ask Bill Belichick questions. And we all sit back and smile because we all know what’s going to happen. A lot of people walk away stunned and they ask us, ‘Is this the way it really is?’ And we (say), ‘Yeah, this is pretty much it.’”
Now that the punishment has been doled out, it’s safe to say that Robert Kraft probably regrets the strong statements he made about Deflategate at the Super Bowl.
“You look at the way Robert Kraft came out on the offensive in Arizona in saying, ‘When you find nothing, we want an apology,’” Wallach said. “And I think the NFL just said, ‘This is enough. We’re going to punish you for your arrogance after Ted Wells showed up. We’re going to punish you for your arrogance since this administration came in.’ I think this is more punitive than anything else. Because when you get right down to it, it doesn’t appear like the NFL has anything more than text messages from two disgruntled employees. You have no smoking gun. You have no video of any of this happening.”
But what about Brady getting caught in a lie saying that he doesn’t know locker room attendant Jim McNally?
“Yeah, and as I said, that’s on Brady,” Wallach said. “Certainly you make a good point, but at the same time, that’s Brady, not the team. I don’t think it’s worthy of first- and fourth-round draft picks (getting) taken away.”
Wallach has heard other people – even those not associated with the Patriots – call the punishment “Draconian.”
“I kind of go along with that,” Wallach said. “Taking Brady away is serious enough, but the rest of it is crazy. But the Patriots were caught for Spygate, and I think that factors into this, too.”