|Report: Some NFL execs find Tom Brady ‘not entirely credible’ in appeal||06.24.15 at 1:33 pm ET|
Following an ESPN report Tuesday night that Tom Brady delivered an “A-plus” performance at his appeal hearing, Pro Football Talk reported Wednesday that the quarterback might not have impressed NFL executives quite that much.
Crediting a league source, PFT’s Mike Florio wrote that Brady “simply reiterated his denial regarding any involvement in or knowledge of whatever it was that John Jastremski and Jim McNally may have been doing with the team’s footballs,” and some of Brady’s answers to follow-up questions “were regarded by some in the room … as not entirely credible.”
PFT also reports that Brady’s case was mainly focused on the flawed science in the Wells Report, along with the fact that there is no proof of Brady’s guilt.
|Aaron Hernandez’s lawyer says he received tip about potentially ‘untruthful’ juror||06.15.15 at 7:59 pm ET|
A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez said an anonymous tipster alerted him to a problem with one of the jurors who convicted the former Patriots tight end of first-degree murder.
According to court documents released Monday (via The Associated Press), attorney James Sultan first received a call April 16, the day after Hernandez was convicted for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. The woman made several other calls from a blocked number. The names of the juror and the tipster were redacted in the documents, along with specifics of the calls.
According to Sultan, the woman recognized a female juror on television and said the juror was present for a discussion of the Hernandez’s double murder case, for which he is due to go on trial later this year or early next year. The judge barred mentions of those killings at the trial.
Sultan also said the caller informed him that the juror had said she wanted to be seated on the Hernandez panel.
Another juror was dismissed by Judge Susan Garsh during the trial for similar reasons — previously discussing the case and expressing an interest in being seated.
|Rob Parker on D&C: Tom Brady should be suspended 8 games for Deflategate||05.27.15 at 10:10 am ET|
Rob Parker, formerly of ESPN and The Detroit News, joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss his column at FanBuzz.com in which he calls for Tom Brady to admit his guilt in Deflategate and accept his suspension. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Parker said he believes Brady should be suspended eight games, twice as many as the suspension the Patriots quarterback was given by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He denied having any bias toward Brady or New England that affects his position.
“I don’t know Tom Brady. I have no reason to hate Tom Brady,” Parker said. “It’s just the idea that — and people can pooh-pooh it all they want — when you mess the integrity of the rules — and I believe, in the stuff that I read, that Tom Brady instructed the ball boys to do his dirty work — it makes no other sense whatsoever that a ball boy would take the air out of a football. Even the greatest football quarterbacks have all come and said the same thing: That’s something that would be instructed by Tom Brady. I just think he’s lying and got caught.”
Parker said Brady should have acknowledged from the beginning that he played a role in the deflation, and then it would have been over quickly, with a much lighter punishment. Now he suggests Brady accept his four-game suspension and put this issue behind him.
“Stop trying to save face. Just own up to it,” Parker said. “Bob Kraft has already given up the fight, and I think he was even more stern about it and mad and angry, huffing and puffing, but he gave in. Tom should just give in, accept your punishment and move on.”
Parker acknowledged that the evidence against Brady is circumstantial — indicating the texts from the ball boys were key — but he said that’s enough to convince him of Brady’s guilt.
“People in Boston, more than anybody, should know that, because you just saw in the [Aaron] Hernandez trial, where Robert Kraft testified, a murder trial, he basically lost on circumstantial evidence,” Parker said. “A lot of people get way harsher penalties in the criminal justice system on circumstantial evidence.”
|Bill Polian on MFB: Robert Kraft has ‘always been the NFL’s leading citizen’||05.22.15 at 12:20 pm ET|
ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian, a frequent critic of the Patriots, joined the Middays with MFB crew on Friday to discuss Deflategate and how the Patriots are perceived around the NFL. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Polian, a former longtime Colts executive, had high praise for Robert Kraft, who this week announced the Patriots would not appeal their punishment for Deflategate.
“I think it’s just typical of Mr. Kraft. He’s always been the NFL’s leading citizen. He’s a leader in every way. He’s a guy who thinks about the league first, last and always,” Polian said. “Anybody else you might be a little bit surprised by the reaction, but knowing Mr. Kraft, I’m not surprised at all. He did what was best for the league rather than his own franchise.”
As for speculation that Kraft gave in to other owners, Polian said that’s unlikely due to the Patriots owner’s standing.
“No, I don’t think so. He’s one of the leading owners in the league. There’s no one going to pressure him,” Polian said. “The bottom line is he looked at the issues and recognized that while he probably would have liked things to turn out better for the Patriots in the long run, what’s important for the league is what ultimately counts. That attitude was called ‘league think,’ that phrase created, at least to my knowledge, by Pete Rozelle. And Mr. Kraft follows it to the letter.”
Polian said the issue is not about what did or did not happen, but whether the commissioner has the right to do what he did.
“It wasn’t about the argument,” Polian said. “At this point it isn’t about the Patriots or Tom Brady, even. It’s about the commissioner’s right to handle unilaterally — and in conjunction with the rights given him in the collective bargaining agreement since 1968, and tradition dating all the way back to the Black Sox in 1919, with Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of baseball. The commissioner has the right to handle the integrity of the game. It is his responsibility. And that responsibility extends not only to the owners and players and coaches and general managers and staff people, but to the fans as well. Because if the integrity of the game is called into question in any way, it affects the overall health of the game and standing of the game in society.
“So to take that from the commissioner is an absolutely bad precedent. And of course Round 2 of that takes place in Tom Brady‘s grievance hearing. But the fact that Mr. Kraft went ahead and accepted the commissioner’s decision is in line with the longstanding tradition of the league and is what is best for the league in the long run.”
|Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to shooting friend in face||05.21.15 at 10:32 pm ET|
Hernandez, in court for the first time since being convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd in 2013, sported a new tattoo on the right side of his neck — the word “Lifetime” above a star. As an inmate, Hernandez is not allowed to get a tattoo, and he is expected to face discipline for this transgression.
The former Patriots tight end reportedly was put in a segregation unit this week after serving as a lookout for an inmate who entered another prisoner’s cell in order to fight.
On his latest charge, Hernandez allegedly shot Alexander Bradley in the face as the two left a Florida nightclub in 2013. Bradley is believed to have been with Hernandez at a Boston nightclub on July 6, 2012, when Hernandez allegedly shot and killed two men shortly after leaving the club.
According to the prosecution, Bradley infuriated Hernandez by making a comment about the shooting while the two were in Florida in early 2013. Hernandez shot Bradley in the face while the two were in a car, resulting in Bradley losing his right eye. Bradley then was pushed out of the car and left on the side of the road as Hernandez drove away.
The prosecution asked that the witness intimidation case be combined with the murder charges in order to have the cases be tried together. The judge scheduled a hearing for June 4 to discuss that proposal and set a trial date.
In a separate hearing Thursday, Hernandez was hit with a 60-day extension of a restraining order batting him from selling his 2005 Hummer and keeping the money. The family of Odin Lloyd has sued Hernandez, and the family’s lawyers are trying to prevent Hernandez from hiding his assets. The car was found at a used car lot in Wrentham.
|Report: Aaron Hernandez involved in prison gang fight||05.20.15 at 1:23 pm ET|
According to a CNN report, Aaron Hernandez played a role in an apparent gang fight Monday at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, where the former Patriots tight end is being held after receiving a life sentence for murder.
CNN, crediting a law enforcement source, reports that Hernandez served as a lookout for a prisoner who went into another inmate’s cell and engaged in a fight. All three individuals are being disciplined, with Hernandez placed in a special management section of the prison.
Hernandez was convicted in the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd. He is due back in court Thursday for a status hearing related to his second trial, for a 2012 double-homicide in Boston.
|Mike Florio on D&C: Robert Kraft ‘not going to fold the tents simply in exchange for nothing’||05.20.15 at 10:16 am ET|
ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday morning to discuss why Robert Kraft ended the Patriots’ fight against the NFL over Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Kraft held a press conference Tuesday from the owners meetings in San Francisco and stunned Patriots fans by announcing he would accept the league’s penalties in an attempt to move past the controversy. Florio said he agrees with the widespread speculation that Kraft struck a deal with Goodell, although he’s not sure what it might entail.
“Whether it’s just for future considerations, whether it’s for a Super Bowl in Foxboro at some point in the next decade, whether it’s a wink/nod, ‘Don’t breathe a word of it to anybody but maybe Roger Goodell’s going to reduce Tom Brady‘s suspension’ type of a promise, there’s got to be something. Because you don’t pivot that quickly.
“Robert Kraft said yesterday you measure nine times and you cut once, and that same mindset applied when they issued the 20,000-word manifesto just six days ago, the 50-minute angry interview with Peter King. These are things that even though emotional on the surface were not the product of anything but careful and deliberate thought. Strategy went into both of those two things, and strategy went into what we saw yesterday. He’s not going to fold the tents simply in exchange for nothing.”
Added Florio: “Logic, common sense, you start piecing it together — OK, there was the report of the talks [between Kraft and Goodell], they had been talking, they’re working something out, and the Patriots’ aspect of it is we’re going to take our medicine and go home. Now the return on that bargain comes down the road. We just don’t know what it is. And they’re never going to tell us what it is. For all the leaks that we’ve seen in this case, I don’t think anybody’s going to come out and say what it was, especially because there may be only two people on the earth who know — Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell.”