NFL commissioner Roger Goodell allegedly offered New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a way out of his four-game suspension during Deflategate, according to "12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight For Redemption," a new book from Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge.
The deal: Brady would not serve any sort of suspension and instead pay a $1 million fine. That part of the deal was an obviously acceptable condition for Brady, but it turned to a hard no for the Patriot quarterback when Goodell said that Brady would also have to publicly blame the team's equipment staff for the deflated footballs.
"He demanded that Brady state publicly that former Patriots equipment guys [John] Jastremski and [Jim] McNally had purposely tampered with footballs, even without his knowledge," Sherman and Wedge write in their book. "Tom said no."
That's because Brady simply didn't believe that Jastremski and McNally did anything wrong. Knowingly or not. Brady also refused to let McNally be his fall guy, even when McNally offered, according to NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran.
McNally told Brady he could use him as his fall guy if the NFL was going to drag him through hell. Brady wouldn't. And when Brady got his "stay" in '15, he welled up when asked about the exile of JM and JJ on Sunday b4 opener https://t.co/B8ve3blj9v
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) August 2, 2018
“There’s no way I’m gonna ruin these guys for something I believe they didn’t do,” Brady told NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith, per Sherman and Wedge's book. The book also claims that Brady was "devastated and angry" when Robert Kraft held a press conference and accepted the NFL's penalties, including Brady's four-game suspension, without pursuing an appeal.
“What the [expletive]” Brady shouted at Smith over the phone. “Why am I not getting the support I deserve on this thing?"
Brady won his case the first time against the NFL around and played through the entire 2015 season, but ultimately served his four-game suspension after a heated court battle in 2016, and won Super Bowl LI that same season.