|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.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: Suspension for Tom Brady ‘unavoidable,’ will come early this week||05.11.15 at 11:16 am ET|
The Wells Report has been out for almost a week, and while the public consensus is that Brady almost certainly will be handed a suspension, nothing has been passed along yet. Because waiting so long makes the NFL look as if it is “gauging public opinion,” Florio said to expect something early this week.
And for those hopeful that Brady avoids suspension altogether, Florio said that’s incredibly unlikely considering what actions other players get suspended for, regardless of whether those actions have anything to do with the integrity of the game of football.
“If the NFL concludes that Brady was involved and generally aware etc., etc., more probable than not, that’s the standard for finding a violation,” he said. “If they conclude he did something he shouldn’t have done that relates to the integrity of the game of football, and you throw on top of it the deliberate refusal to cooperate fully with the investigation, you put those two things together and a suspension’s unavoidable. The question becomes how many games are we talking about.”
Various people have offered four games as their prediction for what Brady is to receive, and Florio mentioned that that number makes sense to him as well because a first-time offense for a PED violation also is four games. He added that you could make the argument for more than four games because Brady didn’t hand over his phone, which equates to deliberate refusal to cooperate with the investigation.
“I look at it this way,” Florio said. “This investigation is dead without the text messages exchanged by Larry and Curly [John Jastremski and Jim McNally], they’re dead. They don’t have enough evidence to do anything based on the science. The science is junk on this, the text messages are what allowed them to come to the conclusion that something happened that shouldn’t have happened.
“So what’s Tom hiding on his phone?” he continued. “He’s deliberately choosing conduct detrimental to the league, that’s what it is to fail to cooperate with this investigation, per se, conduct detrimental to the league. He’s choosing that. So if he’s choosing that, what would have happened if he’d gone the other path and surrendered the text messages and emails, what’s hiding on his phone?”
|Mike Florio on MFB: ‘Was this about the integrity of the game, or was this about catching the Patriots?’||05.07.15 at 12:02 pm ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com joined Middays with MFB Thursday to talk about the Wells Report, which was released on Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Florio notes the league was aware of the Colts raising concerns of the pressure of the footballs prior to the game, which raises the question, was it actually about catching the Patriots?
“Here’s the thing that bothers me the most on this and I can’t get beyond this,” said Florio. “The Colts let the NFL know of their concerns of the possible deflation of footballs and the days before the AFC championship game. Multiple league executives knew about it — setting aside for now someone should have told the commissioner who then could have called Bill Belichick and said, ‘If this is going on knock it off.’ Which would have avoided the entire probably for everyone assuming Belichick had complied.
“Let’s set that aside for now, fast forward to the game. Referee Walt Anderson is aware of the concern and then for the first time in Walt Anderson’s 19 years as an NFL official he looses the balls before the game. He can’t find the footballs. When he finds the footballs, knowing there is a concern about possible tampering with the air pressure in the footballs, he order that the balls be taken back to the officials locker room and tested then. Not, necessary for evidence against the Patriots, but to ensure they are at least 12.5 PSI because we need to respect the integrity of the AFC championship. We can’t knowingly allow balls deflated below 12.5 PSI to be used. They don’t do that. Thats what he should have done. It’s amazing to be that wasn’t done.
“So was this about the integrity of the game, or was this about catching the Patriots? That evidence there tells me it was about catching the Patriots.”
As for what might happen to Tom Brady, Florio’s best guess is the quarterback will be suspended four games.
“I haven’t heard anything specific yet and Tom Brady is going to have a chance to go in and convince Troy Vincent, the executive VP of football operations, that it shouldn’t be whatever otherwise it will be,” Florio said. “He still has a chance to come clean and provide that information and allow that information to be complete. If he doesn’t, they are going to presume whatever he is keeping from them would make it worse not better. I keep coming back to four games. Because isn’t that the standard punishment we hear? Marijuana, multiple violations — four-game suspension. First offense for steroids — four-game suspension. Could be more, but four games sounds right to me.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: Darrelle Revis deal ‘going to happen today or not at all’||03.09.15 at 11:26 am ET|
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning to discuss Darrelle Revis, NFL free agency and other football news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The big news in New England Sunday night was that safety Devin McCourty had opted to stay with the Patriots, reportedly signing a new deal for $47.5 million over five years, with $28.5 million guaranteed. With McCourty all set for next season, the Patriots can turn their efforts to bringing back cornerback Darrelle Revis. If they get it done, though, it’s going to cost them.
Florio said that what will decide whether Revis comes back to New England is heavily dependent on the discrepancy between the contract the Pats offer and any offer he gets from elsewhere.
“I think the analysis ultimately is going to be how much will the Patriots pay versus how much will someone else pay and how much of a gap would Darrelle Revis tolerate to return to the Patriots, assuming the Patriots are offering less both per year and fully guaranteed,” he said. “Those are the two main variables I think, the total value of the contract on an annual basis plus how much of it is fully guaranteed.”
Though Revis and the Patriots haven’t really tried to talk yet, according to Florio, he believes if something is going to get done, it will happen on Monday.
“It’s got to happen to today,” he said. “Hasn’t happened yet. It’s got to happen today because as of tomorrow, the Patriots owe him $20 million fully guaranteed and that continues to be their break-glass-in-event-of emergency option in the event that they decide, ‘You know what, we don’t want to pay this guy what he wants on a long-term deal, but we don’t want him to get away, either. We don’t want him to go to the Jets, so we’re going to suck it up and pay him this year and know that he’s not going to be back for 2016.’
“I think the way it’s going to unfold is they’ll know today whether they’re going to get it done or not, and if they just flat can’t get it done today, then I think that means he’ll end up somewhere else,” he added. “My gut tells me it’s going to happen today or not at all.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: Not much to latest Deflategate accusation||02.18.15 at 9:12 am ET|
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss the latest Deflategate news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
An ESPN report Tuesday indicated that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally attempted to submit an unapproved kicking ball to an official during the first half of the AFC championship game. It’s not clear what advantage the Patriots would have been trying to gain by this action.
“My first reaction was ESPN’s been grinding away to try to put more meat on the bone, and this is all they have?” Florio said. “It really doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that anyone’s going to stand up and say, ‘Aha! This is the smoking gun that everyone’s been waiting for.’ And we may be waiting for it forever. There may never be one. At some point there’s going to be a report issued by Ted Wells that’s going to have all the facts in there.
“I was not surprised there has been no tangible developments in more than a couple of weeks. But I look at it and I say, yeah, this is completely different than deflating footballs, and … this is the result of an effort by ESPN to find anything they can to report on the topic.”
The Patriots reportedly believe that NFL vice president of game operations Mike Kensil is aggressively pursuing accusations against the Patriots because of his past history as a longtime Jets executive.
“I know the Patriots believe that Kensil has that bias and he’s been looking for something to stick to the Patriots,” Florio said. “It doesn’t speak well of the league office if there are employees who are allowed to act out on these agendas from past team relationships. And Kensil’s dad was at one point the president of the Jets, too. When you work for the league office, you become Switzerland. Otherwise you’re going to have these situations arise and even if Roger Goodell had no involvement in it, this all ends up on his desk and he’s the one who’s going to have to find a way through it.
“And here’s the reality: It very well could be that Kensil was acting out on a vendetta against the Patriots but also tripped over something that the NFL now has to deal with. I just hope that the NFL — as it should have done in the Saints bounty case and as it should do in every future case where there’s an allegation of cheating — broaden the lens and satisfy itself that this in an aberration, that other teams don’t do this, before hammering any one franchise. I think the NFL’s approach is, ‘When we catch somebody we’re going to nail ‘em, no matter how widespread this practice may be.’ ”
|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘Suspensions would be on the table’ for Deflategate||01.28.15 at 10:48 am ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about Deflategate and how it will affect the Patriots this Sunday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Though Bill Belichick closed the door on the topic after his press conference Saturday afternoon, Deflategate is something that has, for better or worse, captivated a nation. Initially the NFL announced that the investigation would take a few days, but recently the timetable was extended to the coming weeks. According to Florio, this could be because if the league needed to punish someone it doesn’t want to issue any suspensions for the Super Bowl.
“I think they didn’t want to get themselves into a position where they reached conclusions and then have to do something before the Super Bowl,” he said. “If you play this out to its logical conclusion and decide there was deflation, and we’re going to assume that somebody knew about this, then the NFL may have been in a position where they have to suspend Bill Belichick, suspend Tom Brady for the Super Bowl, and I don’t think they wanted to do that. So I guess what I’m saying is suspensions would be on the table depending on what they ultimately find.”
The league has been quiet, Florio said, because “everyone’s goal, from the perspective of 345 Park Avenue, is get through the Super Bowl, get past this and then we’ll worry about it later.”
The most recent development in the scandal is video of a locker room attendant disappearing into the bathroom for 90 seconds with 12 balls belonging to the Colts and 12 belonging to the Patriots. Florio said that despite news of the video only reaching the public this week, it was something the Pats had given over early on.
To some, the 90 seconds might not seem like enough time to deflate 11 footballs, but Florio said a head coach from a different NFL team tested it and said that he was able to deflate 12 balls and still have time to go to the bathroom in that time. Florio himself even did a bit of a test on his radio show last week.
“I had a football, had a needle, got it up to the microphone yesterday, and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “It was 13.5, and I popped that thing in for two seconds, and it’s a violent release of air, especially if it’s inflated to 13.5, it does not take long. And if you, you know the ball bag, it’s the bag that you lay on the ground and you zip it and they’re all right there so it’s just needle in, needle in, needle in, needle in, it doesn’t take a lot of time to do. As they call it, take the top off the ball, that’s all it is taking the top off the ball.”
|Mike Florio on M&M: Patriots might be better off passing on Aqib Talib and making a run at Darrelle Revis||03.04.14 at 12:05 pm ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss news from around the NFL, including speculation that the Patriots might be interested in acquiring Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Florio suggested that Revis could be on the move prior to March 13, when he’s due to receive a $1.5 million check, and a 2014 fourth-round draft pick the Buccaneers sent to the Jets in last year’s trade would become a third-rounder.
“Those two things combined suggest that if there is going to be a move, it’s going to happen by next Thursday or it’s not going to happen at all,” Florio said. “That’s what it comes down to — it’s not going to happen if it doesn’t happen by the 13th. And the question becomes, can some other team persuade the Buccaneers to make the move. Last year it was the Jets wanting to move Revis. This year the thinking in league circles is that there are other teams that would like to shake Revis away from Tampa.”
Two teams Florio mentioned as potential landing spots are the Patriots and Broncos.
“I’ve heard from someone I trust very much the speculation that it is the Broncos and the Patriots who are trying to stir this ‘Revis can be/Revis will be/Revis could be,/Revis should be traded’ idea, to put the idea in the Buccaneers‘ heads to move on from Darrelle Revis. Would the Broncos or the Patriots like to have a shot at him? I believe they would. Does that mean the Buccaneers are ready to trade him? No. ‘¦ The question is convincing the Glazers [who own the team] to do it. But they’re going to save $16 million in cash if they do it.”
Meanwhile, the Patriots passed on franchising Aqib Talib as they try to determine if it’s worth spending big money to keep the free agent cornerback in New England.
“I think Talib at least is going to get an $8 million-a-year offer, if that’s what [Brent] Grimes is getting from the Miami Dolphins,” Florio said. “And the problem for the Patriots — and this is an Aaron Hernandez offshoot — you can’t give a big chunk of money to a guy with a history of off-field issues less than a year after Aaron Hernandez blew up in your face. You just can’t do it.”
Florio doubted that Talib would take a hometown discount to return to Foxboro.
“Are the days still around where somebody would take less to stay with the Patriots? I don’t know that that vibe exists anywhere except maybe in Seattle. And it would be more somebody taking less to join the Seahawks than someone taking less to stay with the Seahawks,” he said. “So, I think they’re going to have to compete with the highest bidder. And if the Patriots don’t compete with the highest bidder, then he could very well be going elsewhere.
“And when you’re in a position where from a PR standpoint it’s very difficult to give a guy a bunch of guaranteed money on the hope that he doesn’t revert to the things he was doing in Tampa, allegedly or actually. That’s a big risk to take. And other teams don’t have that same PR risk.”
Added Florio: “That’s where this whole Revis thing comes from. When you think about what it’s going to cost to keep Talib on a long-term deal, what the costs are from an off-field risk standpoint, it’s very easy to get yourself to the point where you can justify making a run at Revis. And you throw in the icing on the cake of sticking it to the Jets. Because one of the reasons the Jets traded Revis last year was to get him out of situation where he could walk out the door and sign with the Patriots as a free agent this year. For him to end up with the Patriots would be the ultimate kick in the pants to the New York Jets. And I’m sure that the Patriots would like to be able to pull that off. If they think it’s a good football move, you throw on top of that tweaking the Jets, and they’re not going to feel bad about doing that.”
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