Chicago — As far as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is concerned, the league is ready to move on from Deflategate.
Speaking two days after a major victory for the NFL in its dispute with New England quarterback Tom Brady and the players’ union, Goodell defended the league’s discipline process for players in the wake of critical comments by New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.
And while praising Chicago’s work on the NFL draft, he offered no clues as to where it might be held next year.
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Brady must serve a four-game suspension handed down by the NFL for the use of underinflated footballs at the AFC championship game in January 2015. The court overturned a ruling by a Manhattan judge while siding with the league in its battle with the NFL Players Association.
“It should have been the decision last year from the district court, and that’s what the appellate court said,” Goodell said Wednesday.
The NFL Players Association could appeal the decision to the full 2nd Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, but it likely would be a time-consuming climb even if the courts took the unusual step to consider it. A message was left Wednesday seeking comment from the union.
Brady and the NFL also could negotiate a settlement, a possibility left open by Goodell on the eve of the draft.
Brees asserts his contract talks with the Saints haven’t hampered the club’s ability to acquire top free agents this offseason because he is committed to negotiating an extension that would improve New Orleans’ financial flexibility.
Brees is entering the final year of a five-year, $100 million contract he signed in 2012. The deal currently counts $30 million against New Orleans’ salary cap.
... A Dallas judge has set a $1,500 bond for former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in his misdemeanor domestic assault case.
Manziel’s attorney, Robert Hinton, said the quarterback is expected to turn himself in for booking next week.