‘Deflategate’ sequel for Steelers? Nope, NFL says just a defective ball

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‘Deflategate’ sequel for Steelers? Nope, NFL says just a defective ball

PHILADELPHIA — No investigation or federal case needed this time. The NFL says a bad football used in a preseason game Thursday night was simply defective.

The league said in a statement Friday that a ball was removed from play during the third quarter of the Steelers-Eagles game in Philadelphia and will be sent back to manufacturer Wilson for review.

Questions about an underinflated football flared among fans online after the preseason opener when a sideline radio reporter tweeted that he saw a ball looking “VERY deflated” after an incompletion thrown by Pittsburgh rookie Mason Rudolph.

That immediately brought back reminders of “Deflategate,” the scandal caused when Patriots superstar Tom Brady was accused of using underinflated footballs in the 2015 AFC Championship Game. Brady was ultimately suspended for four games in 2016 for his role in a case that climbed all the way to a federal appeals court.

The saga prompted the NFL to change how it handles footballs before and during games.

NFL officials say all the proper procedures were followed during the game Thursday night.

© 2018 by Associated Press.

New book: Brady turned down deal to avoid Deflategate suspension

New book: Brady turned down deal to avoid Deflategate suspension

Tom Brady could've avoided his four-game Deflategate suspension and gotten off with a $1 million fine from the NFL if he had publicly implicated the Patriots equipment guys for altering footballs, but he refused to do that, according to a new book.

In "12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight For Redemption" authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, Brady offered to pay the fine, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also demanded Brady publicly blame the equipment guys.

"He demanded that Brady state publicly that former Patriots equipment guys [John] Jastremski and [Jim] McNally had purposely tampered with footballs, even without his knowledge," Sherman and Wedge write. "Tom said no."

“There’s no way I’m gonna ruin these guys for something I believe they didn’t do,” Brady is said to have told NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, according to the book. Sherman and Wedge also describe the Patriots quarterback as "devastated and angry" as he watched a press conference in the spring of 2015 in which team owner Robert Kraft accepted the NFL's penalties, including Brady's four-game suspension, and said he wouldn't appeal the punishment. 

From the book:

"Kraft’s star quarterback Tom Brady watched the news conference along with millions of others on television. He was devastated and angry. Brady grabbed his cell phone and punched in the contact number for DeMaurice Smith."

“What the f--?” Brady shouted into the phone. “Why am I not getting the support I deserve on this thing?"

Brady, of course, eventually served his suspension after a lengthy legal fight, and missed the first four games of the 2016 season. 

Sherman and Wedge, who also authored the book, "Boston Strong," the story of the Boston Marathon bombings that became the basis for the Mark Wahlberg movie, "Patriots Day", are reportedly meeting with studio heads about a movie adaption of this Deflategate book.


Edelman won't take four-game PED suspension to court

Edelman won't take four-game PED suspension to court

We won't be following this four-game suspension through the federal court system the way we did another one.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is not going to pursue an appeal of his four-game PED suspension in court and will sit out the first four games of the regular season.

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network was first to report that Edelman wouldn't be going to court to appeal.

Edelman's teammate, Tom Brady famously took the appeal of his Deflategate four-game suspension through various federal court hearings before dropping the case before the 2016 season.

Edelman, 32, who missed all of last season recovering from ACL surgery, can participate in training camp and preseason games but will miss regular season games at home vs. the Texans Sept. 9, at the Jaguars Sept. 16, at the Lions Sept. 23 and at home vs. the Dolphins Sept. 30.