Tom Brady served a four-game suspension for his perceived role in the New England Patriots’ 2015 Deflategate saga, but the star quarterback reportedly was offered a “get out of jail semi-free card” by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
According to an excerpt from the new book “12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady’s Fight for Redemption,” Goodell offered Brady the ability to only be hit with a $1 million fine, but there reportedly was a catch.
“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,” authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge write, via ABC News.
“Tom said no.”
“There’s no way I’m gonna ruin these guys for something I believe they didn’t do,” Brady told DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association and Brady’s legal representative, according to the excerpt.
The NFL has not responded to the allegation.
If Sherman and Wedge’s account is accurate, it paints Brady as a standup guy who was unwilling to throw two employees who he believed were innocent under the bus to save his own reputation. It also shows that Goodell didn’t have a grasp on the situation and wanted to be able to save face with both Brady and the owners.
According to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, McNally offered to fall on the sword for Brady but the star quarterback refused the idea.
The book also paints a picture of Brady’s anger toward owner Robert Kraft when he announced he would accept the suspension and not appeal on behalf of his quarterback.
Brady won his initial appeal, but he eventually was forced to serve the four-game suspension to start the 2016 season.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images