LBS- Like many others, Sherman feels that the four-game suspension Brady has been handed as a result of his alleged role in Deflategate is unfair.
“You’re fining players more than you’re fining organizations?” Sherman told Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY Sports earlier this week. “That should bring up some red flags. But nobody’s talking about that.”
Sherman was referring to the $1 million and future draft picks that the New England Patriots were penalized — sanctions that owner Robert Kraft agreed to accept and later admitted he thought he was cutting a deal for Brady.
As an example of how teams and owners are receiving preferential treatment over players, Sherman brought up the well-documented legal troubles of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
“Last year, Jim Irsay got fined what, 500 grand?” he said, referring to Irsay’s DUI arrest. “Owners can only be fined so much. There’s a cap. And Brady gets fined (roughly $2 million). Whether the crimes are the same or not, a suspension is a suspension, a fine is a fine. Game checks.
“People are just so focused on, ‘Oh, that’s a huge fine for the organization.’ It’s not. A million dollars is peanuts to the Patriots, who will make (hundreds of) million dollars this year. Brady … you take away four game checks, and you’re doing this to the organization.”
Richard Sherman may have a big ass mouth, but when he isn't talking trash on the football field, there is a lot of intelligence that happens to come out of it. After all, that Stanford degree didn't earn itself. I know a lot of people don't appreciate Sherman's bluntness. However, his candor is usually good for a quote or two that is worthy of debate. This time is no different. Richard Sherman may not like Tom Brady, but at the end of the day they are on the same team. That team consists of all NFL players, and their opposition is not only the NFL front office, but also the owners that employ them. That's one of the biggest problems with the NFL, and it's the reason why situations like the lockout happened. Roger Goodell has to look out for what is best for the league, but he has to make sure those decisions are ultimately what's best for the owners as well. After all, they are the ones that pay his exorbitant salary. Generally speaking, it's not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you, especially when you are eating as well as Roger Goodell.
There is a lot of uncertainly surrounding DeflateGate, and while it's starting to appear that the NFL was in the wrong, I think it's fair to say that there was still a bit of shadiness taking place on the part of the New England Patriots. Shadiness that can't just be attributed to Tom Brady. If the NFL is going to stay steadfast in their stance that the New England Patriots view the rules through a lens of ambiguity then the Patriots should be punished. That punishment should start from the top down. It's easy to think that Tom Brady is more important to the culture of an organization than he is because he is the one that we see throwing touchdowns on a week to week basis. However, there are men much richer than he, that had to fail to uphold their responsibilities for the Patriots to play with a semi-deflated football. So to sit here and put a single player on the stand in an attempt to take away a 1/4 of yearly salary seems quite disingenuous when you are only fining the billionaire that employs him and infinitesimal amount of his net worth. Sherman makes an excellent point. Can you imagine the punishments that would have rained down upon a player had he gotten himself into the same trouble with the law that Jim Irsay did? Jim Irsay got fined less for getting pulled over completely hammered, chalked full of pills, with briefcases and laundry bags of cash than a player would for a single bout with PED use. Jim Irsay is one of the 32 figureheads of the sport. He didn't just tarnish the "shield", he cut up a bunch of blow and took a few rails off of it. He basically went full Tony Soprano and got hit with a slap on the wrist. Now, I wouldn't expect to see this type of preferential treatment change anytime soon, but to say that the institutional hierarchy of the NFL isn't flawed would simply be a fabrication.