My Offer Is Nothing

Roger Goodell: I want your answer and the money by noon tomorrow. And one more thing. Don’t you contact me again, ever. From now on, you deal with Vincent.

Tom Brady: Commissioner? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fine for non-cooperation, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.

Everything comes back to The Godfather.

I think the above is probably how the reported settlement talks in the Tom Brady suspension have gone down.

More disturbing in that article is this:

Per the source, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is being pushed by a small handful of influential owners to hold firm on the four-game suspension.

So, other NFL owners are pushing to Commissioner to ensure that Tom Brady does not play in one-quarter of the NFL regular season.

They would have absolutely no competitive motivations for doing that, right? They are attempting to use the Commissioner to gain a competitive advantage. Well, we know that at least five owners have come out publicly in support of Goodell’s punishment of Brady.

So who are these “influential owners” trying to push Goodell into holding firm? Dan Rooney and Art Rooney? Whose Steelers play the Patriots in week one? Jerry Jones? His Cowboys play the Patriots in week five. (Which is the fourth game for New England, meaning Brady would miss the game.) Jim Irsay? His Colts, responsible for this whole mess play the Patriots in week six, which would be Brady’s first game. I’m sure they’d prefer facing the Patriots with Brady having yet to have played his first game. Woody Johnson? His Jets play the Patriots in week seven. Might be nice to have the Patriots with a couple of losses under their belts when playing this divisional game. John Mara? His Giants play the Patriots in week ten. Steve Bisciotti? His Ravens might be competing with the Patriots for home field advantage. They’d benefit from a Brady suspension.

I hope people can see just what a criminal organization the NFL is.

This scenario is all the more reason why Goodell should’ve appointed an independent arbitrator to handle this appeal. Owners wouldn’t be running up and whispering the ear of the arbitrator in order to influence the outcome of the appeal.

The PFT article concludes with this:

So while there’s still no good way out of this mess for Goodell, the safest course for him personally would be to hold firm and to force a court to reduce the suspension — since Goodell suffers little or no P.R. consequence when one of his disciplinary decisions is reduced or wiped out by someone else.

This is also the opinion floated out by Peter King.

Again, think about this. The NFL is more interested in P.R. consequences than it is in getting things right. They would rather go to court and lose, (and look foolish, AGAIN) than admit that they messed this up.

This after Troy Vincent fingerwagged the NFLPA about taking the NFL to court and wasting money that could be used to help support retired/injured players.

Criminal.

Why has there not been a big-media investigative report into the activities of the NFL? We know ESPN, NBC, CBS or FOX isn’t going to do it. So, where you at, New York Times? Wall Street Journal? The Boston Globe could sell the most papers it has sold in years if they did something along those lines, but they have another agenda. (Paging Bill Simmons, you want huge ratings for your first HBO show?)

And there’s more. Now the NFL is leaking the idea that Brady wants a settlement – with no evidence that he does – which is meant solely to create an appearance of guilt where there is none.

Criminal.

Is there any doubt that the NFL, as a whole – including the other owners – has declared war on the Patriots? And Robert Kraft took it.

Tom Curran put it perfectly yesterday:

It’s really an adversarial position Kraft put himself in with his quarterback and his head coach. Kraft doing what was good for the league aligned him automatically with the NFL in its looming fight against the NFLPA. And if Kraft advocates taking a deal, not having Brady hurts Bill Belichick’s on-field product. Never mind that Belichick must look at Goodell then look at Kraft and say, “So this is how your friends and their employees treat you? And you’re good with that?”

Last front? The other 31 franchises.

Does it help the Rooneys in Pittsburgh or Jim Irsay in Indianapolis, Jerry Jones in Dallas or John Mara in New York — or any other franchise — to have the Patriots at full strength for 16 games? The Patriots’ two AFC playoff opponents (the Ravens and Colts) showed what they think of the good of the game last January when they whined about legal formations and had equipment managers sticking needles in footballs during the game.

When you take that into account, it really shows the naivete of Kraft saying, “The heart and soul of the strength of the NFL [is] that it’s a partnership of 32 teams, and what’s become very clear over those two decades (since I’ve owned the Patriots is) that at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32.”

Sorry, Bob. It’s 31 on 1. And, since you capitulated, it’s the whole league aligned against your quarterback.

I don’t want to hear a single word if the Patriots happen to “run up the score” on anyone (or everyone) this season.

Bill Belichick: I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.

Sox Ready For Second Half Surge?

The Red Sox begin the post-All Star break portion of their schedule tonight in Anaheim. Pawtucket Red Sox play-by-play voice Josh Maurer will call the games for NESN in this series and the following one in Houston, as Don Orsillo is on his scheduled (mandated) in-season break.

Red Sox Beat: A look at 5 guesses for Sox’ second half – Michael Silverman has some interesting predictions for the rest of the season.

Why Red Sox won’t be able to treat Eduardo Rodriguez like an ace – Rob Bradford looks at how an innings count is going to factor into the rest of the year for the 22-year-old lefty.

Baseball’s strike zone has expanded, and hitters aren’t happy – Alex Speier with a look at how –  to the player’s chagrin – the strike zone has indeed shifted this season.

David Ortiz explains why he was unavailable Sunday – Bradford has the Red Sox DH talking about what led to his being out of the lineup in the last game prior to the All Star break.

Yeah, just a cold.

Danny Ainge quietly upgrading Celtics roster – Adam Himmelsbach examines the offseason thus far for the Celtics, and how much progress has actually been made.

Confident Cam Neely: Bruins ‘can be a playoff team’ – Stephen Harris has the Bruins boss looking forward to see his revamped squad.

Steve Letarte gets high marks for NBC’s NASCAR coverage – Chad Finn looks at the Maine native who will be part of NBC’s broadcast crew this weekend from New Hampshire.

Finn also notes the news from 98.5 yesterday that Chris Gasper of the Globe has been named co-host of the Patriots radio pregame show, alongside his old Saturday partner Marc Bertrand. This marks a complete revamp of the program with both former hosts Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh no longer with the station or the Patriots radio network. As I’ve said before, I’m generally OK with Gasper, he at least tries to be thoughtful, and while he won’t be able to pull out his thesaurus on the air, that’s probably for the best. Bertrand, on the other hand, I just don’t get the appeal. What does he bring?

WHERE IS ROGER????

The old Fenway Park taunt of Roger Clemens seems appropriate here as we await NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling on the appeal of Tom Brady.

The rumblings have been that Goodell could issue his ruling today, which would be just perfect for Goodell, as this is the so-called “deadest day in sports” and Roger can have the spotlight of the entire sports world all to himself.

That he would arrange things so that this would happen tells you just about all you need to know about the Commissioner and his integrity.

One thing we can be sure of in all this. Goodell is going to act in whichever way makes him look the best, to the most people.

How will Roger Goodell rule on Tom Brady appeal? The way he thinks makes him look best – Oh, Chad agrees. Look at that.

(Though the NFLPA did some “Federal Court” sabre-rattling this morning, which might, just might make Goodell hold off a bit on his announcement.)

Some random items here:

So what do we think of the wacky morning show feud on WEEI? Two days in a row now it has been atop the Inside Track, and led the cover of the Herald yesterday.

Maybe if I was more cynical, I might suggest that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt, and using some friends at the Herald to get some attention. But nah, these guys are really angry at each other! Right? It’s just like the time Mikey Adams was so mad he locked himself in the studio until he got hired!

Prediction: John Dennis is gone within a year. “Retirement” to Florida.

Two not-awful Shaughnessy columns in the span of a couple weeks? What is happening? (Next, someone is going to say Gary Tanguay is making sense. Whoops.) Today Shaughnessy has a look at the Globe’s sports Rolodex (safe to click – this link brings no SEO boost.) which is actually pretty fascinating.

XANDER BOGAERTS IS GOING TO BE A FREE AGENT IN 2019 AND HIS AGENT IS SCOTT BORAS! AREN’T YOU WORRIED???? Well, no Tony, I’m not.

The story of Mookie Betts’ rise from Nashville to Boston Red Sox franchise cornerstone – A really good feature by rising star Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com.

Hunter has consistency in his sights – Chris Forsberg has a look at Celtics first round pick R.J. Hunter.

Danny Ainge: New forward Perry Jones a ‘much different’ player than a lot of other Boston Celtics – Jay King looks at the forward acquired from the Thunder yesterday.