While Brady could miss four games next season because of a suspension stemming from Deflategate, the Super Bowl champions are sticking by their quarterback through thick and thin. Linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who hosted a ping-pong charity event Monday at Blazing Paddles next to Fenway Park, again voiced his support of Brady, with whom he’s played the last six seasons.
“We all support Tom,” Ninkovich said. “I’ve been with him seven years now. Unbelievable person, unbelievable competitor. He’s a great person to be around, a great teammate and we all support Tom.
“From (owner) Robert Kraft all the way down, we all support him.”
Brady appealed his four-game suspension last week, but Deflategate remains a fluid situation for the Pats. The Patriots were slapped with some harsh punishments — the loss of two draft picks (a first-rounder in 2016 and a fourth-rounder in 2017) and a $1 million fine — and sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday that the organization and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were attempting to resolve their differences through “back-channel conversations” rather than an official appeals process.
Regardless of the final outcome, don’t expect much to change in the way Brady’s teammates view him. The four-time Super Bowl champion appears to have the full support of those with whom he shares a locker room, and their bond remains incredibly strong, if not completely unbreakable.
“We do a lot together. We put in a lot of hard work. We work hard year-round,” Ninkovich said. “It’s not just 16 games you’re going out there playing a football game. You’re out there year-round, working together, you have relationships with guys and we all support each other. … It’s family, really. That’s what it is.”
“Tom has won a lot of football games, and he has done a lot in this league,” the linebacker added. “I don’t question anything. He’s a good football player and he’s a great teammate, so I support him.”
Brady has given a lot to the Patriots over his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Now, the organization is giving back as much as it can by standing behind No. 12 as his reputation gets dragged through the mud.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@shalisemyoung
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