Joe Thomas is the latest player to go after the NFL’s reprehensible commissioner over Ballghazi:
Joe Thomas does not think the punishment fits the crime in the Deflategate saga.
“I would equate what [Tom Brady] did to driving 66 [mph] in a 65 speed zone, and getting the death penalty,” Thomas said Sunday after the Cleveland Browns’ training camp practice.
Cleveland Browns All-Pro tackle Joe Thomas further expounded on his distaste on how Roger Goodell is handling the Tom Brady “DeflateGate” case.
The Pro Bowl left tackle said Brady does not even deserve to be fined, but added that what Goodell is doing is “brilliant.”
“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.
Following Antonio Cromartie and (a little more ambiguously) the incomparable Richard Sherman, I wonder if Goodell has abused his authority enough to arouse the NFLPA from its typical quiescent slumber. For Goodell to uphold his own ruling imposing a massively disproportionate punishment for an offense absolutely nobody considered important ex ante despite a notable lack of evidence that the trivial violation even occurred is so substantively and procedurally indefensible that players have to be noticing that they could all be arbitrarily singled out for huge fines and career interruptions for no particular reason. This should be a major issue in the next round of negotiations.
Indeed, Goodell’s case is such a joke that you have to wonder if the NFL will be permitted to impose the suspension at all, despite the weak protections in the CBA. The rough ride the NFL has gotten even in their judicial venue of choice makes it increasingly unlikely that Brady will be out of the lineup opening day.