NFL Players Association president Eric Winston believes that the suspensions handed down by Roger Goodell in recent years have affected the competitive balance of the league.
Winston’s statement comes five days after New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced that he would not appeal his four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal.
“I think the one thing that has been lost in this conversation is how much it’s affected competitive balance throughout the league,” Winston said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “The NFL is always so big on competitive balance but you see these random suspensions that have been handed down over the last two, three years, it’s definitely affected competitive balance.”
Winston also pointed out the disadvantage of being the team with the suspended player.
“Your team might be playing with a guy who should have been out there but wasn’t out there. You know how it is with the schedules in the league,” Winston said.
The Cardinals, Texans, Dolphins and Bills are the Patriots’ opponents for the first four games of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start for New England in place of Brady.