Patriots rumors about Deflategate still continue around the NFL. Now there are New England Patriots rumors about the 2016 NFL Draft and whether the league should give back the picks it took away last year. A report from Sports Illustrated on Monday, February 22 has drawn a lot of interest from NFL fans. In it, NFL analyst Peter King states that the league needs to give the New England Patriots back all draft picks it took away during the Deflategate controversy.
As previously reported by ESPN.com, the NFL originally suspended Tom Brady for four games, fined the New England Patriots $1 million, and took away a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017. The Brady suspension ended up being overturned, and he would play every game for the Patriots during the 2015 NFL season. As the 2016 NFL Draft approaches, though, the Patriots still don’t have control over that first-round pick.
Teams are sending their delegations to the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, where most teams will begin planning on who to select in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The New England Patriots would have had the No. 29 overall selection after coming up short in the 2016 AFC Championship Game, but the team doesn’t have that luxury after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell docked the team following Deflategate. Now the debate has really begun with what the league has done and if the Patriots are being unfairly punished.
Within his report on the situation and how the courts are going to rule on an appeal by the NFL on Tom Brady’s suspension getting overturned, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has weighed in with his final thoughts on the whole controversy.
“Based on the weight of the evidence from the past 13 months, and that weight being circumstantial and not convincing, there’s one conclusion I’ve reached entering the 2016 draft season: Roger Goodell needs to give back the picks. There’s no smoking gun. No witness, video, recording or any direct evidence linking anyone with the Patriots to deflating footballs.”
There have been no NFL rumors stating that the league is even considering returning the lost draft picks to the New England Patriots. That’s an important point to the entire saga. Instead, most of the Patriots rumors floating around have stated that the NFL should be considering it. Behind closed doors, it is certainly possible that Roger Goodell and his advisors have discussed or plan to discuss doing just that, but it’s also possible that the NFL doesn’t plan to budge on its original ruling.
A report from CBS Sports showed just how surprised that NFL was when the courts completely vacated the original Tom Brady suspension. The legal battle continues, with the NFL’s appeal ready to be heard in New York next week, likely thrusting Deflategate back to the front page of every sports periodical. The debate among fans has never stopped, with Patriots fans still claiming that the league has unfairly punished the team and detractors from other teams claiming Tom Brady was never fully honest in the investigation.
If the NFL loses its appeal and Tom Brady escapes serving any part of the original suspension, the league is going to be in a bad position regarding the draft picks of the New England Patriots. The 2016 NFL Draft takes place from April 28-30, giving the NFL a lot of time to possibly vacate its own decision to dock the two picks. There will likely be a lot of Patriots rumors about players the team will be targeting in the draft, as well as stories about how the team has no first-round selection. But will the NFL make any additional official statements about the situation?
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