Wolf, who told Goodell “Way to go on that Brady thing,” during a televised gold jacket ceremony Thursday leading up to this weekend's Hall of Fame inductions in Canton, Ohio. Wolf will be inducted into the Hall on Saturday and spoke to ESPN on Friday to explain what he meant.
The interaction, after which Goodell laughed and the two were friendly, drew some criticism on social media platforms due to the controversy surrounding Brady's recently upheld four-game suspension and the NFL's investigation into last year's AFC championship game.
“I wasn't trying to be a wise guy," Wolf told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Friday. “I realize he has a real tough job. It was just a passing moment, and obviously, it was picked up on a microphone. I basically meant, ‘Congrats on making a decision.’ That's why the owners are paying him all that money.
”But it's still a tough job, and I congratulated him on making that decision, although I don't think it was anything profound. It happened so quickly. It's not me saying I'm for or against his decision. That's not for me to say."
Goodell and Brady are set to meet Wednesday in Manhattan federal court for a settlement hearing. The NFL submitted legal briefs Friday in their litigation over the lawfulness of Brady's suspension.
- Jeremy Woo