FOXBORO (CBS) – Earlier this week, it was reported that a “small handful of influential owners” is urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to stand firm on Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension.
It was no surprise to find out who two of those owners reportedly are.
ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio said in an appearance on “Mighty 1090” in San Diego that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti are two of the key figures who are telling Goodell he should keep Brady banned for four games.
“Add into that add into that you’re angering some of the hardcore owners out there (by potentially reducing the suspension),” said Paolantonio. “I know who they are and I’m going to name them right now. Jim Irsay of the Colts, Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens and others in the AFC who believe that the Patriots have gotten away with murder for years and have not been publicly punished properly.”
DeflateGate became a national story after the Patriots throttled Irsay’s Colts in the AFC Championship Game on January 19.
In the previous round, the Patriots edged Baltimore by erasing two 14-point deficits. The Patriots and Ravens have a rivalry that’s developed through the years with multiple postseason meetings.
Paolantonio also had another interesting tidbit in his San Diego interview.
According to the veteran reporter, part of the reason it has taken Goodell more than a month to rule on Brady’s appeal is that the NFL’s attorneys are not confident in their case should the Patriots quarterback opt to sue the league.
“Behind the scenes they don’t know what to do. The bottom line is the NFL’s attorneys have most likely, from what I’ve been told, gone to the commissioner and said ‘We can’t come up with a ruling that is defensible in court,’” Paolantonio told Mighty 1090. “The NFL, I believe, thinks it’s going to lose in court. And if they can’t come up with a ruling on this appeal that is defensible in court, then they’re going to look awful silly.”
Brady’s appeal was heard just over one month ago, and Goodell has not yet issued his ruling. The Patriots open training camp this week.