Darrelle Revis is back with the Jets after a successful year in New England, but his season as Tom Brady’s teammate hasn’t disposed him toward sympathy for the Patriots or their quarterback.
Brady is appealing his four-game Ballghazi suspension, but in comments to the New York Daily News, Revis says the punishment should stand unless new information has come to light, and not just because Tom Brady is so dreamy—or because of any backroom deal the NFL may have cut in exchange for the Patriots dropping their opposition.
“If I fail a drug test, then I fail a drug test. If I get a DUI, I get a DUI,” Revis said. “If Tom gets caught with a DUI, it’s a DUI. …. If they are saying that he did what he’s done, then the suspension is the suspension. I’m not the commissioner and don’t make the rules. If they want to change (the suspension) based on new information or new evidence, then okay, but it should have nothing to do with Tom being the face (of the NFL).”
That’s a naive way to look at things; Revis has been around this league long enough to know that optics are everything. (Would you be shocked if Brady’s suspension was designed to be slashed to two games from the very beginning, but starting from four allowed the NFL to appear tough on cheaters?)
Revis was more realistic about the controversy of Roger Goodell potentially ruling on Brady’s appeal. It sucks, Revis admitted, but it’s what we agreed to.
“He’s the judge, jury and executioner,” Revis said of Goodell, who danced around whether he’ll recuse himself for the Brady appeal when asked at the league meetings in San Francisco on Wednesday. “Everybody signed off on it…. Why didn’t we stand up when it was time to stand up? You can talk about it after the fact, but we all agreed to it. So (the union’s) got to point the finger back at (the union).”
He’s right, but it’s not as if that’s a concession the current union leadership made. As Mike Florio pointed out, the commissioner was given final say on discipline way back in 1968, a power that’s been enshrined ever since that first CBA. If the players want a third-party arbitrator to be the norm, they have to fight for it in the next labor talks. And that concession won’t come cheaply.
In the meantime, Roger Goodell spoke at the NFL’s spring meetings yesterday and made it sound very unlikely that he’ll recuse himself from hearing Brady’s appeal. That’s clearly fine by Revis, whether he be motivated by a sense of justice or a leg up in the AFC East.