Roger Goodell and the NFL have been put on blast of late with recent comments from players backing Tom Brady. Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has joined the group of players defending Brady, while ripping the NFL at the same time.
"I would equate what [Tom Brady] did to driving 66 [mph] in a 65 speed zone, and getting the death penalty," Thomas said, per Pat McManamon of ESPN.
The entirety of the ball-modifcation rule is baffling to Thomas. He doesn't understand why there are even rules to prevent quarterbacks from doctoring footballs the way they'd like to.
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"Who cares if they throw a football that has no air pressure? What does it matter?" Thomas said. "Why don't we let the quarterbacks do whatever they want to the football? I don't understand why there's any rules."
Thomas simply sees what Brady did as trying to do his job better. In turn, he doesn't see why the NFL should punish someone for that.
"I think he's trying to do everything he can to gain a competitive advantage to help him do his job better, which is to throw the football," Thomas said. "Why should we be punishing a guy that wants to do his job better?
"We know [quarterbacks] already doctor [footballs] 99 percent, why do we care about the 1 percent in the air pressure? Why does that matter? Nobody's even explained why that even matters."
For as much as Thomas hates Deflategate and the way it's all happened, he did call Goodell "brilliant." Not for suspending Brady, but for the way he's handled it and made the NFL that much more exciting in the offseason.
"I'm not sure if he realizes what he's doing is brilliant, but what he's doing is brilliant because he's made the NFL relevant 365 [days] by having these outrageous, ridiculous witch hunts," Thomas said. "It's made the game more popular than ever and it's become so much more of an entertainment business and it's making so much money."
Thomas is right about the fact that the NFL has gotten more attention this offseason than ever before, but it's not necessarily the attention people want it getting. It's brought a lot of criticism on the NFL, which is absolutely not what Goodell wants.
Fortunately, Deflategate should come to an end soon. September 4 is the target date for a ruling, with Brady's suspension set to begin Sept. 5 if no agreement is reached. Until then, the saga continues.