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ESPN’s Skip Bayless on MFB: ‘It’s time for Tom Brady to stand up and speak out and fight back’ 05.08.15 at 2:00 pm ET
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Skip Bayless

Skip Bayless

ESPN’s Skip Bayless checked in with Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss Deflategate and the findings of the Wells Report. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

On Thursday’s ESPN: First Take podcast, Bayless expressed his belief that Tom Brady is guilty in the Deflategate controversy and should be suspended by the NFL.

“It’s just hard to defend Tom Brady given all the texts in the Wells Report and the phone calls the day after,” Bayless told MFB, adding “It’s all circumstantial, but it’s, I must admit it’s damning circumstantial evidence. It’s a preponderance of circumstantial that adds up to pretty convincing. So my problem is, and I said it yesterday at the end of [“First Take”] and today all during the show, it’s time for Tom Brady to stand up and speak out and fight back in the ways we’ve seen him fight back on the field.”

Bayless noted Brady’s insistence that he is innocent, even when the quarterback has talked about the issue behind closed doors.

“I’ve spoken and communicated with a number of [ex-players who are close with Brady] in the last even 24 hours and they have talked to Tom and Tom continues to reiterate to them that he is completely innocent as charged,” Bayless said. “And he even says to them that the ball boys, as he calls them, in question did nothing wrong. So clearly behind the scenes, Tom Brady isn’t saying, ‘Ah, you know, they got me dead to rights here, but I’ve got to try to wiggle out of this.’ That’s not going on behind the scenes as far as I know. So I’m in a tough spot here because after having carefully read that report, it’s not good for Tom.”

Added Bayless: “I need to see [Brady] now in a public forum defend himself in ways that I think he wants to defend himself, I just don’t know if he can given the evidence stacking up against him. … His reputation has taken what could be a permanent hit and stain. And if he can fight back, if he is completely innocent as he is telling people close to him that he is, it’s time to fight back.”

The ESPN personality believes that, unless Brady is able to fight back and prove his innocence, he should be suspended for four games.

“If you can prove to me that Tom presided over this, and by the way, if you prove that to me, then I have to believe that [Bill] Belichick is at least aware that this is going on,” Bayless said, adding: “And it would seem to me that [NFL football operations chief] Troy Vincent, and in the end it’s [commissioner Roger] Goodell, that they would have to come down with a significant enough penalty that the world wouldn’t scream, ‘Patriots lovers’ back at them. And so that’s why I went to four games, because that’s sort of the standard suspension for other, you know, like PED kind of things.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: Deflategate, Patriots, Skip Bayless, Tom Brady
Roger Goodell: Deflategate investigation ‘getting near the end’ 03.23.15 at 10:44 am ET
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In a Monday morning article at Sports Illustrated’s website, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talked to SI’s Peter King about Deflategate and other news from the 2014 NFL season.

The AFC championship game, in which the Patriots were accused of using footballs deflated below the legal level, was over two months ago, and the NFL investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

“The most important thing is to get the right information, to get the facts and the truth,” Goodell said, adding: “We determined that we should bring [criminal attorney] Ted Wells to further the investigation. We haven’€™t given him a timetable except to be thorough, be fair and get to the truth. When he’€™s completed his report, that will be made public as well as to all of us.”

Added Goodell: “I haven’t spoken to [Wells] for several weeks. I think he’s getting near the end [of his investigation], but there’s no requirement when.”

One rumor around the incident is that Goodell and the NFL suspected the Pats of deflating footballs before the AFC championship game and tried to catch them in the game against the Colts.

“I’m not going to get into what we knew and when we knew it because that’s part of what [Wells is] investigating,” Goodell said. “I can tell you that I was not personally aware of it until after the game.”

Read More: Deflategate, Patriots, roger goodell,
Adam Schefter on MFB: Patriots, Jets ‘most logical landing spots’ for Darrelle Revis 03.06.15 at 3:53 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the NFL offseason and potential moves for the Patriots. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

One of the most interesting and important decisions for the Patriots is how much to offer Darrelle Revis, who is set to become a free agent. Schefter believes that there are two teams in the front-running for Revis: the Pats and the Jets.

“I think other people will be interested, but I think those are the two most logical landing spots,” Schefter said. “This is probably [Revis’] last big contract, so this is how I would lay it out, and I believe this is how he will lay it out: … Would you rather stay where you’re comfortable, and make a little less? Or would you rather go back where you once played and make more, and not be assured of the type of success that New England seems to have every single year and has had every single year since roughly 2000.”

If the Pats are not able to resign Revis, they may have to get creative to piece together an effective secondary.

“If you lose him, and you lose Devin McCourty, then you have some real holes in the secondary,” Schefter said. “I think the Patriots have always done a tremendous job sifting through free agency and finding some real value. … The problem that they’re going to have I think is that these top cornerbacks are going to go for big dollars.”

Another important decision the Patriots made was to not pick up Vince Wilfork‘s option, which allows him to become a free agent.

“I think he’d like to continue playing, that’s certainly what it sounds like,” Schefter said. “And the question becomes what kind of offers he can solicit from other teams.”

So far this offseason, the Patriots’ AFC East division rivals have been busy making moves to improve their teams. On Friday morning, it was reported that the Jets have agreed to terms with the Bears on a deal for receiver Brandon Marshall. It is unclear what the Jets gave up to bring in Marshall, but Schefter believes that “it will involve a late-round draft pick. Not much.”

Earlier this week, the Bills were able to bring in running back LeSean McCoy.

“The Bills are saying, ‘We’re going to run the football,’ ” Schefter said. “The Jets are trying to figure out what they’re doing at quarterback, but they’re adding weapons. So you see the direction that they’re going right now. And these teams are doing the best they can under the circumstances.”

However, the Bills and Jets may need a quarterback to truly take on the Patriots for the AFC East title.

“Who in that division right now has a quarterback that’s going to challenge Tom Brady and the Patriots?” Schefter said. “And right now you don’t see anybody that’s going to do that. As long as that’s the case, New England will reign supreme.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: adam schefter, Darrelle Revis, NFL free agency 2015, Patriots
Adam Schefter on MFB: ‘New England dictated’ Seattle’s decision to pass on goal line 02.06.15 at 1:08 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the Patriots’€™ Super Bowl victory. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

The most talked-about play of the game is the Seahawks‘ decision to throw the ball on the goal line instead of letting Marshawn Lynch run. The play resulted in the Malcolm Butler interception that sealed the victory for the Pats.

“I thought the real key part of that play was that New England brought on its goal-line defense, and when New England brought on its goal-line defense, that was when Seattle went to the three-wide receiver package,” Schefter said, adding: “The bottom line for that is that New England dictated to Seattle rather than Seattle dictating to New England the type of play that was going to be run. … Obviously that worked out very very well for the New England Patriots.”

Schefter expressed a belief that Seattle coach Pete Carroll is receiving too much blame for the play call.

“If they had thrown a touchdown there, I promise you people would have said, ‘Look at how smart Pete Carroll is, and how creative, and going outside the box, and running their play on that spot,’ ” Schefter said. “But it didn’t. If the play worked no matter what he ran, he was going to be brilliant. And if it didn’t work no matter what he ran, he was going to be ripped.”

The Super Bowl championship is the Pats‘ fourth in 13 years, solidifying them as one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history.

“[The Patriots] have done this in a free agent era that is designed to promote and implement and have parity,” Schefter said. “This league is built for everybody to finish 8-8, for teams with great players to lose great players. And yet New England during that time has still managed to find a way to go to six Super Bowls. … The only one of those dynasty type of situations that we’re talking about that’s had to fend off the salary cap and the parity that the league always is striving for.”

Leading up to the Super Bowl, the Patriots were under scrutiny for the Deflategate controversy.

“There are people in the Patriots organization, multiple people, that are adamant that nothing happened, they did nothing wrong, this is an overdone, blown-up situation that got carried away when they did nothing,” Schefter said.

With the season over, one of the most interesting decisions the Pats will have to make has to do with the future of corner Darrelle Revis.

“I don’t think that they’re going to exercise the $20 million option,” Schefter said. “I’ve always thought that to be unlikely. So I think they sit down, they try to get something worked out. … If they don’t and he gets out in the market — you can take this to the bank — the Jets and the Bills are going to make major runs at him.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: adam schefter, Darrelle Revis, Patriots, Super Bowl
Jonathan Kraft talks Tom Brady’s greatness, Darrelle Revis’ contract, on D&C at 12:14 pm ET
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Patriots president Jonathan Kraft joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss the Super Bowl and all things Patriots. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Kraft discussed the importance of the Pats‘ fourth Super Bowl victory.

Tom [Brady] is the one after we won the first Super Bowl who said that the one that’s sweetest is the next one,” Kraft said, adding: “I think that it felt good, but I think those emotions come at the minute and you experience them but then you’re focused on what’s going to happen in the future. And if you’re lucky enough to win another one, I think that one feels probably in the moment sweeter than anything you’ve experienced before.”

Added Kraft: “The bottom line is we had a hell of a Super Bowl game. … It was an awesome football game, and ultimately, that’s what the National Football League is about. Just incredible competition and entertainment.”

Kraft praised the Pats quarterback after his third Super Bowl MVP performance.

“You got to see why Tom Brady is the greatest of all time,” Kraft said. “Whether we had won or lost that game, it didn’t matter. To go to nine AFC championship games and six Super Bowls, and now to have won four, in an era of a hard cap and unrestricted free agency and coaching staff turnover. These other guys he gets compared to played in a totally different era where you had much greater consistency and there were fewer teams in the league and the level of competition just wasn’t what it is now. And, you know, that fourth quarter is Tom Brady, and he is as great a competitor as has ever played the game, he’s the greatest leader, he is the greatest quarterback. … He deserves it and the team deserves it.”

In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Brady and the Patriots were brought under scrutiny for Deflategate.

“It was more a feeling of displeasure at how the whole thing had started and been handled,” Kraft said when asked about the controversy, adding: “Throughout that week, there was just a lot of stuff that was in the media which we didn’t feel was appropriate. You’re supposed to be, in the world, innocent until proven guilty.”

One of the most important decisions the Pats will have to make in the offseason is what to do with cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has a team option for 2015 worth a reported $20 million.

“I think we’re about to get started on the offseason,” Kraft said. “He is under contract for next year. I realize that it’s probably, people understand that that’s a placeholder. We’ll get to work on trying to make that happen and hopefully both sides will want to make a deal and we’ll get that done. He’s been everything and more since he’s been here.”

For more Patriots news, go to the team page at

Read More: Deflategate, Jonathan Kraft, Patriots, Super Bowl
Super Bowl XLIX sets viewership record 02.02.15 at 12:48 pm ET
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According to the NBC Sports Group, Super Bowl XLIX set the record for highest viewership in Super Bowl history, with a 49.2 overnight rating.

In Boston, the game received a 61.0 rating, the highest in Super Bowl history for this market.

The ratings peaked between 10 and 10:15 p.m. ET, when the Patriots completed their comeback and stopped the Seahawks on the goal line with an interception by Malcolm Butler. Between those times, the ratings reached 52.9.

Last year, the Super Bowl between the Seahawks and the Broncos received a 47.6 rating. The previous record was 48.1, set in 2013 during Super Bowl XLVII between the Ravens and 49ers.


Read More: Patriots, Super Bowl,
Julian Edelman on MFB: Patriots haters ‘can kiss that’ Lombardi Trophy at 12:28 pm ET
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Julian Edelman joined Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss Sunday’s Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Edelman caught the game-winning touchdown Sunday night, and he said he’s looking forward to sharing his joy with Patriots fans.

“It’s just an unbelievable feeling to be in this situation right now,” Edelman said. “We’re just looking forward to getting back and getting on that Duck Tour boat and sharing this with the people of Foxboro and New England. It’s going to be a fun time.”

After the Patriots’ ugly loss to the Chiefs in Week 4, ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, a former NFL QB, said the Patriots were a “weak team,” adding: “They’re not good anymore.”

“[Dilfer] sits there and analyzes everything, but he needs to go and watch the film, and he can’t say anything now because we’re world champions,” Edelman said, adding: “We’re coming back home to Boston with the Lombardi Trophy, and he can take that and put that in his clips.”

Added Edelman: “It’s a bunch of noise out there: ‘Tom Brady can’t win it again, coach [Bill] Belichick‘s not good enough, this, that. Mr. Kraft, he can’t get another one done. Deflategate.’ All this bull. Everyone can talk, keep on talking, but we’re going to be raising that trophy up in front of everybody in New England and it’s going to be a great time. They can kiss that.”

Edelman led Patriots receivers with 109 yards on nine receptions in the Super Bowl. His quarterback, Tom Brady, threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns, and won the Super Bowl MVP.

“Like Tom always says, ‘The best one is the next one.’ He got this next one and that solidifies Tom Brady as the best quarterback ever to play,” Edelman said. “He’s been to six Super Bowls, he’s played in what, 15 years, 16, I don’t even know. He’s been in every other year almost. … All he does is fight. He’s had numerous teams around him, numerous different guys, personnel, and all he does is continually prepare to make himself better, work on his fundamentals. I love that guy to death and I wouldn’t want to have any other quarterback.”

Edelman expressed respect for a great game played by Seattle.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to the Seattle Seahawks,” Edelman said. “They’re a great football team. You’ve got nothing but respect for those guys. They played until the very end, they made a bunch of big plays, but we were fortunate to make a couple more bigger ones.”

Added Edelman: “Our defense stood in there, were mentally tough, and made a play when we needed it. It just shows you that we had a complementary football game. Our D making plays when they needed to, our offense making plays when they had to, and now we’re world champs.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: Julian Edelman, Patriots, Super Bowl XLIX,
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