Troy Aikman: Patriots punishment should exceed Saints bounty punishment
Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman has weighed in on Deflategate and he thinks that the Patriots should be in for a harsh punishment from the NFL.
Aikman made an appearance on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket on Thursday and said he believed that it is “obvious” quarterback Tom Brady was involved in deflating the footballs. He also referenced Commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment of the Saints for running a bounty program that rewarded players for hurting opponents when explaining why he believed the Patriots needed more than the “slap on the wrist” Aikman feels they got for videotaping their opponents’ sideline in 2007.
“This whole comment by Roger Goodell based on the Saints when Sean Payton got suspended for the year, and he says ‘ignorance is no excuse,’ that’s going to come back to haunt him again,” Aikman said, via the Dallas Morning News. “That haunted him during the whole Ray Rice situation with he, himself, and now it’s going to haunt Roger Goodell in terms of what the punishment is for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. If ignorance is no excuse, and it wasn’t for Sean Payton. …[The Saints] did not give themselves a competitive advantage. Now twice, under Bill Belichick and possibly a third time, they’ve cheated and given themselves an advantage. To me, the punishment for the Patriots and/or Bill Belichick has to be more severe than what the punishment was for the New Orleans Saints.”
Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season by the league as a result of their bounty findings, General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended eight games, assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended six games, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely, the team was fined $500,000 and the Saints were stripped of second-round picks in 2012 and 2013.