Deflategate update: Antonio Cromartie defends Tom Brady


The onset of real football hasn’t put an end to the Deflategate madness, but at least some truth is being spoken. Support for Tom Brady came from an unlikely source on Thursday: New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Cromarite said something on ESPN’s First Take that is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Deflategate. On paper, the maximum ruling for Brady’s supposed infraction is a far cry from the punishment Roger Goodell handed down, as Cromartie elaborated on during his visit on First Take:

"Honestly, I don’t think he should be suspended. [The Patriots] got fined. They got took away draft picks. The maximum fine, I think, is $25,000. In the rulebooks, there is no suspension in the rules. There’s only a $25,000 fine. I don’t see how you can try to lay the hammer down on someone when the rule states for itself there is no suspension, just a maximum fine of $25,000."

Thank you, Antonio. Although we Patriots fans weren’t happy when you placed the f-bomb next to Brady’s name back in 2011, we appreciate you spreading the truth about the absurdity of Brady’s suspension. Cromartie also warned other fan bases about Goodell’s discipline roller coaster:

"Nobody is safe. No matter who you are, Roger is going to do what he’s going to do. He’s going to make his own rules as he goes. It shouldn’t be like that."

That last excerpt relates to what Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said yesterday. Florio pointed out that Deflategate isn’t about Brady’s legacy, or how the Patriots’ supposed wrongdoing undermines their 15 years of dominance. Rather, it proves that the NFL is a reactive league that is getting dangerously close to breaching the public trust.

To quote Chowder and Champions’ Matthew Rewinski, this is an “uncomfortable truth that everyone who’s been laughing at New England since January doesn’t want to hear.”

If an arch-nemesis of Brady is shedding light on these truths, that’s saying something. Cromartie couldn’t be more correct.

As more time passes, the focus of Deflatege is shifting away from Brady being the bad guy to Goodell being the micro-manager of an era of football governance.

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