Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 regular season, and New England Patriots fans are not happy about it.
“People are irate,” WBZ News Radio Morning Anchor Adam Kaufman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Everybody’s looking at this thing as something of a makeup punishment, if you will, for Roger Goodell . . . in the sense of what a bad year he had last year in the Ray Rice investigation, or lack thereof in many ways, Adrian Peterson, concussions, and so on and so forth – all that went on across the league.”
And then there’s the simple fact that this is the Patriots.
“A lot of people around the league and nationally – and you have a good pulse on this – look at Roger Goodell as not only the owners’ do-boy, but Robert Kraft’s,” Kaufman said. “This was (Goodell’s) opportunity here to really take a stand and make an impact. And in many ways, it was a statement punishment. It goes back to Spygate and failure to cooperate by the Patriots – or at least that interpretation by Troy Vincent and the Wells Report – for Tom Brady and his cell phone and not turning over text messages and emails, or on the other side of not making Jim McNally – the locker room attendant – available for that fifth interview. The Patriots were admittedly caught in some lies as well. But all of this, in my opinion – and I feel it’s an unbiased opinion – the Ted Wells Report and Troy Vincent’s subsequent ruling went off a lot of assumptions and made a lot of leaps. And as a result, Tom Brady is getting for this crime – for this misdemeanor of an infraction – really an unprecedented punishment.”
A punishment that many find too extreme.
“Well, it is,” Kaufman said. “I don’t see how you can argue against it. We’ve all heard the Keith Olbermann’s and the Woody Paige’s calling for a season-long ban, and people wanted the asterisk next to the Super Bowl win against the Seahawks. Gregg Doyel, formerly of CBS Sports, (wanted) eight games. Of course he’s out in Indy right now. There are slanted perspectives everywhere.
“What I really truly believe the NFL did was Roger Goodell and Troy Vincent – this Wells Report went out a few days before the punishment came down,” Kaufman continued. “So they had an opportunity to really gauge the public temperature here and what was going to be satisfactory from that national outlook among media and fans. And the Patriots – look, they’re not a well-liked organization. Whether it’s Spygate or the alleged taping going back to the ’01 Super Bowl against the St. Louis Rams and just the fact that it’s been a dominant franchise basically for the last 15 years – they get the reaction and clearly it’s come down on Brady and get rid of this guy.
“So they come down with a hard punishment, knowing full well that To Brady is going to appeal. So in my belief, they went with a punishment that they found acceptable based upon what it’s actually going to be. This thing is not going to stand at four games. I’d be shocked. As much as it would be for the league and for ratings some sort of poetic justice Tom Brady to be suspended the first four games of the year and come back Week 6 against Indianapolis of all teams, I don’t see that happening. I think it’s going to go down to one game, to two games, and the NFL can live with that. That’s why it goes higher on the front end.”