Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is no stranger to voicing his opinion, and he recently shared his belief that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should not have been punished so severely by the NFL, according to USA Today.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to have minimal impact on the season, minimal impact on the rules,” Sherman told USA Today. “So it’s just a minor annoyance, really.”
Sherman is backing the same quarterback at whom he yelled, “You mad, bro?” after a regular season game in 2012. Brady and the Patriots defeated Sherman at Super Bowl XLIX in February following the AFC Championship Game that led to the Patriots' Deflategate scandal.
Brady was suspended for four games after an NFL commissioned investigation by attorney Ted Wells found the four-time Super Bowl champion “was at least generally aware of... the release of air from Patriots game balls.” The suspension was upheld by the NFL.
Sherman believes the NFL needs to enforce stronger penalties on owners who break rules. The Patriots were fined $1 million and forced to surrender two 2016 draft picks for the scandal, which Sherman thinks was too soft a punishment.
“People are just so focused on, ‘Oh, that’s a huge fine for the organization,’“ Sherman said. “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.”
“It wasn’t just him,” Sherman added. “There’s no way nobody else knows about it. So, he shouldn’t be punished so severely.”
Sherman also cited Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay's six game and $500,000 fine for a DUI incident as injustice to Brady.
Brady's suspension will reportedly begin Saturday, Sept. 5 if no settlement has been reached nor a ruling handed down on his case. The NFL has said it will not agree to a settlement unless Brady admits to having knowledge of the Patriots' deflating game balls used during the AFC Championship Game, which Brady has reportedly said he is not willing to do.
- Christopher Chavez