|Mike Florio on D&C: Deflategate case ‘could be tied up in the courts so long that Tom Brady retires before a suspension would ever be imposed’||09.18.15 at 9:15 am ET|
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning and explained how the NFL hopes to win its appeal of Tom Brady‘s Deflategate suspension dismissal. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On Thursday the league filed documents in New York, explaining to the appeals court why it disagrees with Judge Richard Berman’s decision to vacate commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment for Brady. The NFL claims that Berman erred in his analysis of the law.
Florio said this case likely will depend on which judges are selected to hear the appeal.
“It’s chance. That’s what it comes down to,” Florio said. “There’s 22 judges assigned to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. And three of them will be randomly assigned to this case. The NFL’s already trying to set it up so the review in the Second Circuit happens from scratch. It’s like a do-over. It’s no deference given to the decision of Judge Berman, so then it becomes luck of the draw.
“If you get the two most conservative judges of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals — and I don’t want to make it about politics, but that’s the way it works when you practice law. Conservative judges are more likely to find a way to side with management in these types of labor cases, and they’ve got years of experience. And that mindset, that philosophy is what got them their spot. If they were appointed by a Republican president it usually means the judge leans right. It’s luck of the draw. And if they get two that see it their way, the NFL has a chance to win, which means it could be tied up in court even longer.
“However it turns out, this thing could be tied up in the courts so long that Tom Brady retires before a suspension would ever be imposed on him.”
|Peter King on D&H: ‘I don’t think for a minute that Robert Kraft wants Roger Goodell to be fired’||09.17.15 at 8:03 am ET|
Sports Illustrated and MMQB’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about matters from around the league, including Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft’s relationship. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
King believes even with everything that has happened between Goodell and the Patriots with Deflategate, Kraft doesn’t want Goodell fired because of the business man that he is.
“I don’t think for a minute that Robert Kraft wants Roger Goodell to be fired,” King said. “I think he’s upset with him, but I also think that in his business — one of the things that I admire about Kraft is he’s a business man. He knows how to make deals and I would bet in dealing with people around the world in which he as for 20 or 30 years in his family business, I would bet there are an awful lot of people that he gets very angry at, but understands he has to do business with. One of the things I admire about him is that he’s able to put his feelings aside because he knows the business as a whole is pretty important.”
When it comes to other owners in the league, King believes Goodell has more support than some might think and there’s never been a time where he’s been close to being pushed out of his role as commissioner.
“No. I don’t think it’s even close,” King said. “I think he’s got somewhere between two and four owners who are not in the Roger Goodell fan club.”
King was cautious to actually name specific owners, but is confident in the number of up to four as not being in favor of Goodell.
“There’s enough people I know in the league who feel like there are a couple, maybe as many as four, who would be anti-Goodell right now, or at least not pro-Goodell,” he added.
|Mike Florio on D&C: Possible coup in works at NFL offices to replace Roger Goodell||09.11.15 at 9:25 am ET|
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio checked in with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Friday morning, following the Patriots’ 28-21 victory over the Steelers, and discussed the lingering mistrust of the Patriots, rumors of a possible coup in the league offices, and what was learned on the field Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Florio is one of the few national writers who has defended the Patriots and aggressively questioned the league’s handling of Deflategate. ESPN, meanwhile, has come under heavy criticism of late for appearing to pander to the league and slant its coverage against the Pats, including some questionable editing of ESPNBoston.com writer Mike Reiss.
“I’m not going to say they’re handling it poorly, I think they’re handling exactly the way they want to,” Florio said of ESPN. “Whatever their agenda and objective is, they’re handling it well. And it’s a bad agenda, and it’s a strange objective. This Reiss thing was so stupid. If they had just let it go and not changed anything in his column, no one would have noticed it. They do the ‘tighter edit’ and take out two of seven bullet points and everybody pays attention, everybody notices it and it creates this big issue. And it just exposes the idea that there is some agenda there.
“I don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t know why they’re doing it. I don’t know if they’re trying to get a cheaper rights fee the next time around from when we do the extension, the broadcast contract. But I’ll tell you this: The NFL is as upset with ESPN as the Patriots right now from this latest 10,000-word opus, because it slams the league office as much as it slams the Patriots. So I don’t know what the agenda is.”
Florio suggested that the NFL leaks might be related to individuals in the league offices looking toward a future without Roger Goodell.
“You just have to wonder what’s really going on behind the curtain,” Florio said. “And I know somebody who understands the dynamics of the league office [who] is convinced that there were league office sources who were feeding ESPN information with two agendas — to retaliate against the Patriots and to set Roger Goodell up for eventually being thrown out of office, because there are people who have their eyes on that job or eyes on the potential for advancing to a higher job under a different commissioner. That’s where this thing gets really bizarre. Is there a coup in the works? I don’t know. But a lot of nervous people at the league office, a lot of people putting potential plans into motion aimed at advancing their own interests or protecting themselves.”
|Jeffrey Kessler on D&H: Tom Brady was not involved in football deflating scheme||09.10.15 at 4:03 pm ET|
Jeffrey Kessler, the lawyer who represented Tom Brady and the NFLPA in the Deflategate case, joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Thursday to discuss the situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Kessler said there wasn’t ever really much doubt as to whether or not his side would win the case.
“Yes, once we looked into this, we were convinced that what happened here at the league was wrong and it didn’t follow the rules of the CBA and it didn’t follow the legal requirements. So, we thought it would probably take us having to go to court, which it did, but we thought eventually we would get here,” Kessler said.
The lawyer was asked his he could unequivocally say Brady was not involved in a scheme to deflate footballs.
“What I can say is that everybody who has testified in this matter has said Tom Brady was not involved in such a scheme,” Kessler said. “He testified under oath. The two clubhouse people were interviewed and said there was no such scheme and he was not involved. There is no document that indicated he was involved in such a scheme. I am not aware of any evidence to indicate that that would be the case and I believe Tom Brady.”
|Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Latest ESPN Patriots story ‘makes Roger Goodell look horrendous’||09.09.15 at 9:54 am ET|
ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss ESPN’s latest story about the Patriots that recaps Spygate and includes additional accusations of malfeasance. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines had a piece Tuesday that implied the Patriots have a long history of trying to find ways to get an edge on other teams, including some that are illegal if not at least immoral, and that they got a break from Roger Goodell on their Spygate punishment — to the extent that Goodell helped in a cover-up so the full details of the Patriots’ cheating was not revealed.
“I think the gist of my takeaway is, obviously going back into some of the Spygate stuff, some of it is old news, some of it is kind of minor details that we probably didn’t know but people probably just assumed was the case anyway, in terms of the scope of it,” Hasselbeck said. “And then I think when it comes down to it, I think probably the worst part of it — and I don’t know if you guys are seeing it this way — is that I think more than anything it makes Roger Goodell look horrendous. I think that’s the bigger takeaway, is how inconsistent and how poor of a job he’s done on multiple occasions. I think that’s the bigger story, in my opinion.”
A report emerged Tuesday night that the Patriots finally have applied for reinstatement for the two Patriots equipment staffers they suspended early in the Deflategate investigation. Hasselbeck said he hopes John Jastremski — whom Hasselbeck knows from his days as a ball boy with the team — gets his job back.
“If he’s done nothing wrong, then he should not lose his job,” Hasselbeck said. “It doesn’t matter if the NFL is pressuring them, insinuating that he should lose his job, none of that stuff. If he truly did nothing wrong, and the Patriots organization is this organization of integrity, then defend him as much as you’re defending anyone else there.”
Added Hasselbeck: “I hope John Jastremski ends up working the rest of his career for the New England Patriots.”
|Roger Goodell comments on Deflategate, possible change in role regarding player discipline||09.08.15 at 10:42 am ET|
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appeared on ESPN Radio Tuesday morning, making his first comments on Deflategate since the league lost its’ court battle before Judge Richard Berman. Goodell acknowledged a certain level of fatigue regarding the process, but said he will not have a role in the appeals process, adding that it was time to focus on football.
“I certainly understand the fatigue — to a large extent, we have the fatigue. We went through a very extensive process here, as you know,” he said. “We believe we were consistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That’s simply a legal matter. I am not going to be focused [on the appeal]. Our legal team will simply go through the appellate stage of that. I want to get back to football, focusing on football, and that’s what I’ll be doing over the next several months.”
He didn’t agree with the assessment that the league has struggled in court as of late.
“Sometimes, when you’re having litigation, you lose in the initial phases, and you get to the right place when you have that long term view. There are many cases like that,” he said. “We had cases in the same court with respect to an eligibility rule with Maurice Clarett several years ago where we lost in district court and we won on the appeals level because we believe the eligibility rules were important, and that was within the structure of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. You have to have the long term view with litigation, and you also have to understand that you’re not going to win them all.”
When it came to Jim McNally and John Jastremski, Goodell was asked if the league ask the Patriots to suspend them until this investigation was over.
“Absolutely not. Absolutely not,” he said. “That was a decision made by the Patriots.”
Goodell also said he had not heard about a report from ESPN that was released Tuesday morning linking the punishments for Spygate and Deflategate.
“I have not seen this report in any way, but I can just tell you that I’m not aware of any connection between Spygate procedures and the procedures we went through here,” he said. “We obviously learn from every time we go through this sort of process. We try and improve it and get better at it. But there’s no connection in my mind between the two incidents.”
|Report: NFL owners to discuss changing Roger Goodell’s power in disciplinary process||09.04.15 at 3:23 pm ET|
Could Roger Goodell’s role in the NFL’s disciplinary process be changing?
According to the Washington Post, that answer could be yes, as the paper is reporting owners of NFL teams plan to discuss the possibility of changing Goodell’s role in the player disciplinary process. It would be the first step following Tom Brady‘s case to have an impact on Goodell’s position.
“There will certainly be discussion about that,” one owner said. The owner added he’s “not sure where it will lead.”
The report also said the players union has been pushing for a neutral arbitrator to hear appeals in matters of player discipline — Goodell currently has that role.
The next scheduled owners’ meeting is in October.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
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