While there has been no official word on how severely the league will punish Tom Brady for his involvement in Deflategate, future Hall of Famer and just-retired safety Ed Reed thinks the Patriots quarterback should face consequences for his actions.
“It’s a lot of things that affect the integrity of the game,” Reed said, according to the Baltimore Sun‘s Aaron Wilson. “We make lessons out of guys like Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice when it comes to harsh things that affect the integrity of the game. That’s what we’re about protecting.
“If Brady made some choices, we’ve got to suffer the consequences. That’s for all of us. None of us are perfect, but if you make decisions then you’ve got to suffer the consequences.”
The issue is whether deflating footballs is a big deal. Yes, it’s against the rules, but how much of an advantage is it really? Most importantly: Should it merit a multi-game suspension for Brady?
“It’s definitely gamesmanship,” said Reed, who spent 11 seasons with the Ravens. “For the players, it’s about having an equal playing field. You heard about all the science and research. I played football with a smushed-up can. It doesn’t matter to me about the football. It’s whatever. We’re on a professional level. We set an example. That’s what it comes down to.”
Also not helping: The Patriots’ reputation for skirting the rules.
“They’ve been calling them guys cheaters,” Reed said. “That’s the news, that’s the media. They’ve built that up around themselves at this point.”
Meanwhile, Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith put it all in perspective like only he can.
“I’m glad my name is my name and I have to deal with my issues, I think that’s going to be on them,” Smith said. “I don’t really have time to be concerned with that. Whatever they do, there’s going to be consequences for their actions. I could care less. I think Tom Brady could care less what I think about it, too.”
Brady may not care what Smith thinks, but he’s certainly wondering what’s on Goodell’s mind.
Ed Reed and Tom Brady had plenty of battles over the years. (USATSI)
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