NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Deflategate victory lap continued Thursday with an appearance of “CBS This Morning” in which he said, among other things, the court ruling this week that reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension was "the end of the matter."
"It was the right decision in according with the Court of Appeals. I think this is the end of the matter. We’re moving on and focusing on the draft," Goodell said from Chicago, site of the NFL Draft tonight. "The court was very clear on the fact that the suspension was reinstated, that it should not have been overturned in the first place last summer by the District Court."
Brady will reportedly continue to fight the suspension with another appeal.
In his second interview on the subject in the past two days, Goodell, who appeared on Colin Cowherd's FOXSports1 show Wednesday, again stressed the "independent investigation," i.e. The Wells Report, that led to Brady’s suspension, when asked by hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King about Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ comments that Brees "wouldn’t trust any league-led investigation when it comes to anything."
Said Goodell: "There was an independent investigation on this, and an independent report that was presented to me and that’s what we based the judgement off of. And then we had a hearing, we had a process that is articulated in our collective bargaining agreement that has been there for several decades."
NFL lead counsel Jeff Pash assisted Ted Wells in preparing the "independent" report.
At one point in the back-and-forth, Goodell was asked a question that many are still scratching their heads over. How can you explain away all the money spent on this matter -- on "CBS This Morning" the estimate was $20 million -- when it all comes back to the air pressure in footballs?
"This wasn't about the actual violation," Goodell said. "This was about the rights we had negotiated in our collective bargaining agreement, that we had in our collective bargaining agreement, and that we wanted to make sure that we retained. If we decide to negotiate with the union on those issues and decide to trade those, that's certainly within the rights of both of the management council and the players to do that. But this is something about retaining those rights that we negotiated."
Goodell said also said he had talked to Patriots owner Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft since the latest Appeals Court decision, although he didn’t say they discussed Deflategate. The commissioner said he thought everyone was "ready to move forward."