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ESPN’s John Clayton on MFB: ‘It will be hard’ to get Tom Brady suspension reduced

05.15.15 at 2:16 pm ET
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John Clayton

John Clayton

ESPN’s John Clayton joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the fallout from Deflategate and the Patriots’ reaction to the punishment handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Following the release of the Wells Report, the Patriots were given a penalty that they see as excessive: a $1 million fine, two draft picks including a first-round pick in 2016, and a four-game suspension for Tom Brady. On Thursday, the team released a document highlighting the inaccuracies in the report.

“I don’t think [the Patriots’ response is] going to change anything,” Clayton said. “One thing I think is good for the league by doing it as strongly as they did and putting out just about every argument, I think it pretty well says they’re not suing the National Football League.”

Added Clayton: “Instead of going into the court of law, they went into the court of public opinion and trying to win it there. And I think you can see from the reaction of the Patriots fans, it certainly was good for the Patriots fans, and, you know, everybody else around the country, they’re trying to make their judgments.”

Brady and the Patriots have made it clear that they will be appealing the punishment, and the NFL has announced that Goodell will be hearing the appeal himself.

“I’m not surprised that Roger’s going to legislate this, but you have to get the feeling that he’s not going to be sympathetic toward the Patriots because, you know, he has stressed so hard that he wants integrity in the game, and in his eyes at least, this does violate integrity,” Clayton said, adding: “I think it’s going to be hard to get this below four games unless there is a settlement. I mean, if Roger does try to at least say, ‘OK, we’ll take the four down to two,’ you take it and then deal with that. But I think right now, odds are at least somewhat favoring it’s going to probably stay at four games.”

One of the major criticisms of Goodell in recent days is that other players and organizations who were disciplined by the league in the past year were given relatively light penalties compared to those given to the Pats.

“There is no consistency at the moment with any penalty coming out of [Goodell’s] office, and so because of that, there is extra scrutiny,” Clayton said.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: Deflategate, John Clayton, Tom Brady, Wells Report

NFLPA: Troy Vincent had ‘no authority to impose discipline’ on Tom Brady

05.15.15 at 11:41 am ET
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The letter the NFLPA sent Troy Vincent appealing Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension became public on Friday. To read the entire letter, click here.

The letter states, Vincent had “no authority to impose discipline” and only Commissioner Roger Goodell holds that power.

Another argument brought up is the fact Brady was suspended four games, which they argue is a violation of the CBA. The letter states: Indeed no player in the history of the NFL has ever received anything approaching this level of discipline for similar behavior — a change in sanctions squarely forbidden by the CBA and the law of the shop.

Brady was suspended because of the findings of the Wells Report, which the NFLPA feels had “insufficient evidence” to find Brady committed any violation of NFL rules.

It also reiterates they would like a neutral arbiter to hear the appeal. It was announced Thursday night Goodell would be the one hearing the appeal. If they don’t get a neutral arbitrator, the NFLPA “will seek recusal and pursue all available relief to obtain an arbitrator who is not evidently partial.” They made reference to the Ray Rice case where Judge Barbara Jones heard the appeal.

Lastly, the letter states they will call Goodell and Vincent as witnesses, which raises serious questions as to whether or not Goodell should be the one hearing the appeal.

The NFL has 10 days from Thursday to hear the appeal.

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Read More: Deflategate, roger goodell, Tom Brady, Troy Vincent

Aaron Hernandez defense team appeals murder conviction, claims it was based on ‘conjecture and guesswork’

05.15.15 at 10:36 am ET
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Attorneys representing Aaron Hernandez filed an appeal of his murder conviction Friday in Bristol Superior Court in Fall River, insisting “no reasonable jury” could have found Hernandez guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd in 2013.

The defense team cited insufficient evidence and said the verdict was based on “improper speculation, conjecture and guesswork.”

The former Patriots tight end was found guilty of first-degree murder and a host of other charges in April and received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Under Massachusetts law, his conviction is automatically appealed.

Hernandez also will be tried for the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012. Earlier this week he was charged with shooting a man in the face in Florida, allegedly in an attempt to keep him quiet about the 2012 double-murder.

Also Friday, prosecutors dropped perjury charges against Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins.

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Prosecution drops perjury charge against Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee

05.15.15 at 10:23 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez‘s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, had a perjury charge against her dropped on Friday after she testified under an immunity order in March.

The prosecution said Jenkins had lied to the grand jury about where she disposed of a box that Hernandez asked her to get rid of. Prosecutors said Jenkins told the grand jury that she couldn’t remember where she threw away the box, which they believe held the murder weapon.

Jenkins pleaded not guilty to the charge and, citing her March trial testimony, prosecutors then asked a judge to drop it on Friday, which Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh agreed to.

“I’m feeling great,” Jenkins told Rhode Island’s NBC 10 News outside court. “I’m happy to start my future with my daughter and move forward.”

Jenkins’ lawyer, Janice Bassil, told NBC 10 News that the perjury charge should not have been brought, adding that Jenkins had been asked 1,630 questions in front of the grand jury over the course of two days and didn’t lie deliberately.

“She made an honest mistake,” Bassil said.

Last month, Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison with no parole and his lawyers appealed the sentence this week.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez trial, Shayanna Jenkins,

Roger Goodell will hear Tom Brady suspension appeal

05.14.15 at 10:26 pm ET
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Although likely not what Tom Brady and the NFLPA wanted, Commissioner Roger Goodell will be the one who hears Brady’s appeal.

On Thursday the NFLPA officially appealed Brady’s four-game suspension. In the statement, the NFLPA requested to present their case “before someone who is truly independent.” Brady and the NFLPA will likely not be pleased if Goodell is the one hearing the appeal.

“Commissioner Goodell will hear the appeal of Tom Brady’s suspension in accordance with the process agreed upon with the NFL Players Association in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement,” the NFL said in a statement Thursday night.

The NFL has 10 days from today to hear Brady’s appeal. Goodell could have appointed someone else, including someone completely neutral, but it appears he will hear it himself.

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Read More: roger goodell, Tom Brady,

Browns LB Karlos Dansby: Cardinals had issues with headsets at Gillette Stadium in 2008

05.14.15 at 5:25 pm ET
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Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby is the latest player to come out and say they have suspected suspicious behavior with the Patriots in the past.

Appearing on PFT Live Thursday, Dansby recalled a game in 2008 when he was with the Cardinals where his headset wouldn’t work. He didn’t have problems in any other stadium, but did at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots, led by Matt Cassell, beat the Cardinals 47-7 in the season finale to keep their playoff hopes alive at the time.

The 2008 season was the first in which the coach-to-headset communication was used.

“My headset was working fine, every game,” Dansby said. “Until the very last game of the year. We get in Foxboro, they couldn’€™t get my headset fixed, for nothing in the world.”

“I didn’€™t have not one problem until I went into Foxboro,” he added. “You can ask anybody on that team that year. We didn’€™t have no problems with my headset until I got to Foxboro. And, man, I tell you every time I came to the sidelines, taking my helmet off trying to fix it. They was trying to fix it, they couldn’€™t get it fixed. So we had to give hand signals, and we were dead in the water. They ran when they wanted to run, they threw it when they wanted to throw.”

Did he suspect foul play? Of course.

“C’€™mon, man. C’€™mon,” Dansby said. “It’€™s not a secret. They gotta do what they gotta do to win, man. They gonna do what they gotta do to win. It’€™s just how they operate.”

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Poll: How many games does Tom Brady actually miss?

05.14.15 at 4:45 pm ET
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Now that Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension, do you think it will get reduced? If so, to how many games?

How many games do you think Tom Brady ends up by missing?

View Results

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Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,
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