We’re learning more about some of the tension inside the New England Patriots organization, and how it might not have been all about Tom Brady and former backup Jimmy Garoppolo.
The fallout from “Deflategate” was more than just the four-game suspension Brady received from the NFL.
Apparently, the perceived lack of support from his own team had a huge effect as well, according to an ABC News report on a new book.
In “12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption,” authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge report that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gave the quarterback the option of a $1 million fine in lieu of a suspension if he conceded that his footballs had been deflated.
“(Goodell) demanded that Brady state publicly that former Patriots equipment guys (John) Jastremski and (Jim) McNally had purposely tampered with footballs, even without his knowledge,” the book says.
According to the authors’ research, Brady flat-out refused to make Patriots staffers scapegoats for the deflated footballs.
“There’s no way I’m gonna ruin these guys for something I believe they didn’t do,” Brady told NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith, according to the book.
The Athletic ran an excerpt of the book, in which Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced the team would accept Brady’s suspension.
“So in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months,” he told reporters. “I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he (Goodell) has given us, and not to continue this dialogue and rhetoric, and we won’t appeal.”
When Brady called Smith during Kraft’s news conference, he began with an expletive.
“What the f—?” Brady shouted over the phone, according to the book. “Why am I not getting the support I deserve on this thing?”
Goodell’s offer and Brady’s subsequent refusal are noteworthy, as it’s the first time any suspension alternative has been mentioned publicly.
It’s also worth repeating that because the quarterback refused to blame equipment managers, he paid the ultimate price.
Brady ended up being suspended four games to start the 2016 season, a stretch in which New England went 3-1 behind Garoppolo and third-stringer Jacoby Brissett.
The season ended with the Patriots coming back from 28-3 to beat Atlanta in the Super Bowl and Brady winning his fourth Super Bowl MVP award.
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