Armour: Tom Brady, Patriots get what they deserve from NFL – USA TODAY

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Armour: Tom Brady, Patriots get what they deserve from NFL

NFL suspends Tom Brady for four games, docks Patriots two draft picks for Deflategate




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USA TODAY Sports’ Larry Berger breaks down the disciplinary action handed down by the NFL in the Deflategate investigation.

The NFL came down hard on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and rightfully so.

Cheating, no matter how silly or minor it seems, compromises the integrity of the game. If you can’t trust the game or the people playing it, it makes the sport a farce.

Yes, suspending Brady four games and docking the Patriots two draft picks for what is little more than a junior high prank is harsh. But if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had let the Super Bowl champs and their Glamour Boy slide, it would have sent a signal that rules don’t matter, diminishing the league and everyone associated with it.

The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to everyone in our league, and requires unshakable commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said in his letter informing Brady of the suspension.

“Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question.”

Since Ted Wells released his 243-page report last week, critics have tried to poke holes in it by questioning everything from the methodology of the testing to why there was no smoking air gauge. But it comes down to common sense.

Brady is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, a four-time Super Bowl winner and two-time NFL MVP. Do you really think two low-level Patriots employees are going to mess with his footballs without his knowledge? Without his direction?

You’re going to buy that those two employees just happened to joke about letting the air out of the footballs, with one even calling himself “The Deflator?” And that the flurry of phone calls and texts between Brady and equipment assistant John Jastremski after the deflated footballs were discovered was pure coincidence?


Brady was playing fast and loose with the rules, and he got busted. Now he and the Patriots will pay a heavy price for their sins — too high, some may say.

But integrity doesn’t come cheap.

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