Brady may be suspended in ball scandal

first_img RELATED PHOTOS Trouble looms: New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, a four-time Super Bowl winner, has been implicated in the deflation of game balls. | REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES The 243-page report, however, failed to show the evidence that rules Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion, definitely knew it was a violation of the NFL’s Playing Rules.As expected, Patriots owner Robert Kraft wasted no time reacting by saying, “the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me,” in a statement. Then Brady’s agent, Don Yee, issued his response and said “The Wells Report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment.”Brady told the media on Thursday he would address this issue publicly soon.Now it’s time for the NFL to decide if it should punish Brady. If the league does sanction the reigning Super Bowl winning quarterback, how harsh it could be?The NFL has already punished two teams this offseason. The Falcons were fined $350,000 and docked a fifth-round draft pick for making crowd noise artificially during the home games. The league also suspended Browns general manager Ray Farmer for four games because he broke league rules by sending text messages to the sideline during the games.A fine is likely for the Patriots even if Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick or any top executives did not know the employees deflated the balls. If the league judges the Wells Report shows enough evidence to believe Brady was really aware of the plans to deflate the balls, a suspension will be considered.The number of games of the suspension will be up to how deeply the league determines Brady was involved with “Deflategate.” If Brady knew about the deflated balls, the suspension could be one or two games, but if he asked the employees to do deflate them, he should face a longer suspension.But whether a ban is actually enacted is anyone’s guess. Brady will surely appeal any suspension. Otherwise, it means he admits his involvement with the tampering and lied to Wells during the investigation process.If Brady files an appeal, any suspension would be put on hold. Unless the NFL is able to show enough evidence to prove Brady’s involvement, Brady can avoid a suspension.This was exactly what happened with bounty scandal and the Saints. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Scott Fujita, Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith because the league believed they were deeply involved with the bounty scandal. All four players appealed and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was appointed to hear the appeals, ruled to vacate all of the players’ suspensions and leave all the blame on coaches.So long as the Wells Report fails to show obvious evidence of Brady’s strong involvement, in a potential appeal there is a good chance that Brady will be on the field on Day 1 when the Patriots host the Steelers on Sept. 10 in the season opener.Big blow to JaguarsLosing rookie linebacker Dante Fowler due to a torn ACL even before the season starts is a huge setback for Jacksonville, which planned to beef up its defense with young players. The Jaguars expected the first-round pick to be a pass rushing threat to their division rival Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.Future Hall of Famer quitsOvershadowed by “Deflategate” was Ed Reed announcing his retirement last week. The NFL has lost two-former All-Pro safeties this offseason — Reed and Troy Polamalu. The two surely will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img NFL, New England Patriots, Tom Brady, Ted Wells “Deflategate” has become the biggest NFL scandal since the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal in 2012. Or it could be even bigger because one of the most popular and respected quarterbacks in NFL history seems to be involved.The Ted Wells Report released on Wednesday says, “it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of” the Patriots’ personnel who the report indicates were involved in deflating the game balls before the AFC Championship Game against the Colts this January. KEYWORDSlast_img