Jim Irsay, Colts Vocal Against Reducing Brady’s Suspension
According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has joined Baltimore Ravens majority owner Steve Bisciotti among the loudest voices in persuading the NFL not to reduce New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s 4-game suspension in the wake of the DeflateGate controversy (via CSSNE’s Tom Curran):
"“By reducing the suspension, you’re angering some of the hardcore owners out there,” Sal Paolantonio told San Diego’s Might 1090 on Friday. “I know who they are and I’m gonna name ‘em right now: Jim Irsay of the Colts. Steve Bisciotti of the Ravens and others in the AFC, who believe the Patriots have gotten away with murder for years and have not been publicly punished properly.”"
As one of the teams directly impacted by the New England Patriots breaking the rules, Jim Irsay has every right to be angry about Brady’s illegal manipulation of footballs.
Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson (left) and owner Jim Irsay before the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Not only was DeflateGate committed against his team in the biggest game of the Colts season, but Brady’s 4-game suspension could mean the difference between homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs for this season. It’s in Irsay’s best interest to ensure that the NFL holds Brady every bit accountable as reasonably possible.
There’s been speculation that the Baltimore Ravens were also victims of the New England Patriots under-inflating footballs in last year’s playoffs and then tipped off the Colts. However, that hasn’t been clearly confirmed and was later refuted by their head coach John Harbaugh.
Either way, members of the Ravens coaching staff were asked to testify in Ted Wells investigation regarding DeflateGate, and the Patriots have potentially cheated against the Ravens even further in the past. It makes sense that their majority owner Steve Bisciotti would also be irate if the league let Brady and the Patriots so easily off the hook.
When it’s all said and done, it will be interesting to see if Brady’s 4-game suspension actually holds up. However, it’s clear that the league definitely has considerable support in “sticking to its guns” and not backing off its originally mandated punishment, from some of its more prominent owners alike.
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