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Eli Manning ‘happy’ Tom Brady will be able to play following Thursday’s Deflategate decision 09.04.15 at 12:29 am ET
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Eli Manning expressed support for Tom Brady in the wake of Thursday's Deflategate decision. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Eli Manning expressed support for Tom Brady in the wake of Thursday’s Deflategate decision. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Eli Manning said Thursday night that he was “happy” for Tom Brady, and “happy that he gets to play next week” when the regular season opens.

“It’s probably been a long few months for him,” Manning said shortly after the preseason finale Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “I’m happy he’ll be back on the field next week.”

Brady, who had his four-game suspension overturned Thursday morning, didn’t play Thursday evening against the Giants. Manning also didn’t suit up for the contest, the final preseason game of the summer for both teams.

Manning was happy for Brady, but didn’t sound overly shocked that the suspension was overturned.

“I don’t think anything surprises me,” he said. “But I saw that it got overturned, and (Tom’s) been dealing with a lot. So I’m glad he finally gets to play.”

As for his thoughts about the role that commissioner Roger Goodell played in the process, Manning shrugged.

“I try not to get took involved in all of that, without knowing all of the details,” he said. “What I’d say is that (the commissioner) has a job to do. But I’m glad Tom can play next week.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Deflategate, Eli Manning, roger goodell, Tom Brady
Shane Vereen backing old teammate Tom Brady: ‘He’ll do well’ 09.04.15 at 12:13 am ET
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Shane Vereen is now with the Giants, but he still has a soft spot for Tom Brady. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Shane Vereen is now with the Giants, but he still has a soft spot for Tom Brady. (Elsa/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Count ex-teammate Shane Vereen as someone who is in Tom Brady‘s corner.

The former New England running back made his return to Gillette Stadium Thursday night for the first time since he signed a free-agent deal in the offseason with the Giants. And even thought he’s now a part of Big Blue, the 26-year-old still has a place in his heart for his old quarterback.

“He’s one of the few cats, (one of the) few guys in this league that will keep taking his backlashes but still get better and still work harder,” Vereen told WHDH-TV after the game, a 12-9 win for the Giants in the preseason finale for both teams. “(There are a) lot of guys in this league that would love to be like him as a competitor and as a great quarterback, I’m sure he’ll do well.”

Vereen, who ended up with just one carry on the night, said it was a “little surreal” to be back in Foxboro. The Cal product spent four seasons in New England before signing with the Giants a month after the Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.

“It was fun — a little surreal for a while,” he said of Thursday’s action. “I had to snap out of it. It was fun being back and seeing everybody and being welcomed back with open arms.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Shane Vereen, Tom Brady,
Patriots upended in preseason finale against Giants, 12-9 09.03.15 at 10:27 pm ET
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Ryan Lindley and the Pats fell to the Giants. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Ryan Lindley and the Pats fell to the Giants. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — On a night where Patriots and their fans were preoccupied on the fate of the starting quarterback, the team wrapped up the 2015 preseason with a 12-9 loss against the Giants in front of a relatively subdued Gillette Stadium crowd.

Led by third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley, who took all the offensive snaps in place of Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, New England and New York traded field goals throughout the evening until New York’€™s Chris Boswell knocked home a 41-yard field goal with 8:18 left in the contest, a score that would ultimately prove to be the difference.

Lindley ended the night 22-for-45 for 253 yards and an interception in the loss. The Patriots also got nice performances from James White (10 carries, 36 yards), Aaron Dobson (four catches, 56 yards) and Reggie Wayne (two catches, 24 yards). Lindley led the Patriots on a pair of first-half scoring drives, both of which ended in field goals from Stephen Gostkowski (34 and 33 yards) that resulted in a 6-6 tie at halftime. He added a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring for New England and tie the game at nine.

Brady, who reportedly left before the start of the game, was not spotted on the sideline during the contest. At the same time, his image loomed large throughout the evening ‘€” at one point, the Patriots played his traditional entrance music, and his highlights were shown on the big board, eliciting a large cheer. In addition, many fans brought signs of support for the quarterback, as well as Judge Richard Berman, who issued the Deflategate ruling in favor of Brady earlier in the day.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Robert Kraft: ‘Greatly appreciative’ of Judge Berman’s decision in Deflategate case 09.03.15 at 1:21 pm ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement Thursday afternoon, shortly after Judge Richard Berman cleared quarterback Tom Brady.

“As I have said during this process and throughout his Patriots career, Tom Brady is a classy person of the highest integrity. He represents everything that is great about this game and this league. Yet, with absolutely no evidence of any actions of wrongdoing by Tom in the Wells report, the lawyers at the league still insisted on imposing and defending unwarranted and unprecedented discipline. Judge Richard Berman understood this and we are greatly appreciative of his thoughtful decision that was delivered today. Now, we can return our focus to the game on the field.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Robert Kraft, roger goodell, Tom Brady,
NFL announces decision to appeal ruling from Judge Berman in Deflategate drama 09.03.15 at 12:21 pm ET
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Shortly after Judge Richard Berman made his decision in the Deflategate case Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued the following statement through the league:

We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’€™s decision. We will appeal today’€™s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’€™s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Deflategate, Judge Richard Berman, roger goodell, Tom Brady
Players around NFL react to Tom Brady’s Deflategate win 09.03.15 at 11:09 am ET
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In the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s decision clearing Tom Brady for his alleged role in Deflategate, several players — Patriots and otherwise — took to Twitter to comment on the ruling:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brian Hartline, CJ Anderson, Devin McCourty, Jonathan Vilma
Deflategate decision a massive win for Tom Brady, NFLPA 09.03.15 at 10:58 am ET
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Tom Brady and Roger Goodell will meet again Monday in front of Judge Richard Berman.  (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the NFLPA came away with a colossal win over Roger Goodell on Thursday. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

For Tom Brady, it’s game on.

The Patriots quarterback was cleared by Judge Richard Berman on Thursday morning, his proposed four-game ban for an alleged role in Deflategate reduced to zero games. That clears the quarterback to start the regular season under center for the Patriots next Thursday night against the Steelers.

It’s a colossal victory to only for Brady, but for the National Football League Players’ Association, which has fought alongside the quarterback throughout the process in hopes of trying to minimize Goodell’s brand of occasional capricious and arbitrary disciplinary process.

At the same time, the decision to overturn Brady’s four-game suspension is seen as a massive defeat for the league and commissioner Roger Goodell, who will now likely face major challenges when it comes to his role as league disciplinarian. The league leaned on the current collective bargaining agreement in making its case in front of Judge Richard Berman, saying that under the auspices of the CBA, Goodell had every right to do what he did when it came to penalizing Brady.

But in the end, their argument wasn’t proven to be enough. Berman’s decision to knock the NFL around in a pair of court hearings earlier this month wasn’t just window-dressing, as he punched several holes in the league’s assertion then, and did the same in his decision. The statement from the court, which stretched 40 pages and was dropped by Berman on Thursday morning, really came down to a 40-word passage: “Based upon the foregoing and applicable legal authorities, the Court hereby denies the Management Council’s motion to confirm the Award and grants the Players Association’s motion to vacate the Award, thereby vacation the four-game suspension Tom Brady, effective immediately.”

Going forward, the question is now whether or not the league wants to fight the decision, likely via an appeal. We have heard from several owners on this point throughout the summer, many of whom back Goodell and his decision to try and punish the Patriots, while others have what might best be described as Deflategate fatigue and would be more inclined to move forward without a prolonged legal battle.

“I just want it to be over with one way or the other,” Giants owner John Mara told WFAN last month when asked about Deflategate. “We’re all tired of hearing about it.”

Whatever happens, expect player discipline and the commissioner’s role in the process to be a serious sticking point in the next CBA discussion. (For the record, the current CBA extends until 2020.) But that’s a story for another day. Now, the Patriots and the NFLPA can claim a serious legal victory, and Brady will be free to play next Thursday against the Steelers.

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Read More: Deflategate, Judge Richard Berman, roger goodell, Tom Brady
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