Roger Goodell is moving on — or so he hopes.
The NFL commissioner is doing an unofficial victory lap after the U.S. Court of Appeals earlier this week ruled to reinstate New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in Deflategate.
Goodell found a soft spot to land Thursday morning ahead of the first round of the NFL Draft, speaking with “CBS This Morning,” where he once again fielded questions about the latest developments. Goodell tried the best he could to insist the NFL is looking forward after more than 15 months.
“This is a decision (to suspend Brady) we reached last summer,” he said. “It was the right decision in according with the court of appeals, and I think this is the end of the matter. We’re moving forward.”
Goodell eventually was pressed about the staggering amount of time and money (reportedly in the $20 million neighborhood) spent on what, at its root, seems like the relatively minor infraction of letting some air out of footballs. Goodell pivoted, saying this had more to do with the NFL’s judicial progress as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement than anything else.
“This wasn’t about the actual violation,” he said. “This was about the rights that we had negotiated in our collective bargaining agreement and we had in our collective bargaining agreement and we wanted to retain. If we decide to negotiate with the union on those issues and be able to trade those, that’s certainly within the rights of the management and the players to do that. This is something about retaining those rights we negotiated.”
See the full interview below.
Here’s the thing, though: Goodell and the NFL probably haven’t heard the last from Brady and the NFLPA. The Patriots quarterback reportedly plans on fighting a little longer, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported shortly after the decision that Brady is “not ready to accept” the court’s ruling.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images