Even almost two years after the entire Deflategate saga was started by the NFL, it is still a passionate topic of discussion. At the center stands the man whom the league accused of being part of a scheme to illegally release air out of footballs (something that it ultimately failed to prove) : New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady has stated his innocence multiple times, most notably under oath – the lone person to do that – during his initial appeal hearing in front of commissioner Roger Goodell. However, since the NFL’s decision to suspend the future Hall of Famer was seen as within the collective bargaining agreement’s framework by United States court, the quarterback has been silent.
Instead, he does his talking on the field – and it has been spectacular.
The 39-year old leads the league in almost every efficiency statistic (passer rating, completion percentage, touchdown percentage, yards per attempt), while having thrown for 1,319 yards and 12 touchdowns without any interceptions in his first four games. In short: Brady, who has led his team to four straight wins, has been clearly the best quarterback in the NFL since his return from suspension.
Rightfully, he is the favorite to win the league’s most valuable player trophy. However, if it goes to one former NFL player, Brady should not win the award. "There is no way Tom Brady can win MVP because he was caught cheating this year," said former Colts and Patriots wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
Wayne, who has played 14 years with the team that kickstarted Deflategate, has also been with the Patriots briefly during the 2015 offseason. However, he reportedly quit the team and opted to retire because playing in New England was harder and less fun than he originally imagined. Now, he is giving his opinion about that team’s quarterback.
On Monday, he was asked on NFL Total Access about his former offseason-teammate and his chances of winning the MVP trophy. According to Wayne, Brady should not win the award. This itself is a pretty ridiculous statement given the level of play the quarterback has showcased the last four games and how he has helped improve his team’s offense from scoring 20.3 points per game to 34.0.
However, the reasoning behind it – that Brady was "caught cheating this year" – is even more ridiculous. First off, Deflategate was started during the 2014 playoffs aka two seasons ago. Second, Brady was never caught cheating, even though Wayne apparently still thinks so. In fact, Brady’s post-Deflategate success, the league never releasing last season’s mandated PSI measurements and – most importantly – science prove that nothing nefarious happened during the 2014 AFC Championship game (during which Wayne was on the losing side).
Unfortunately, however, Reggie Wayne has already made his mind up, thus showing that once again – as has been the case throughout this entire scandal – logic and facts have to take a backseat to agenda.