DeAngelo Williams may be stoked that Tom Brady’s going to be suspended after all, but one of his AFC North buds is decidedly not stoked about it.
Joe Thomas, the nine-time Pro Bowl and six-time All-Pro offensive tackle who had the unfortunate luck to play for the Cleveland Browns for his entire career (so far) wanted Brady to keep fighting the NFL over his Deflategate suspension. Here’s what Thomas had to say over the weekend about Brady serving his suspension and finally throwing in the towel on any more appeals (from the AP’s Tom Withers):
"I was disappointed that he didn't keep appealing, from a player's standpoint," Thomas said Saturday as the Browns got ready for their second practice of training camp, "because it kind of gives the commissioner a little bit more power that maybe was not necessarily already negotiated or settled."
Thomas has been outspoken in the past about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of Brady's situation. Last year, Thomas accused Goodell of "witch hunts" against players.
One of eight players in history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first nine seasons, Thomas believes Brady finally relented because there was no guarantee he'd win.
"I think that everyone just got kind of sick of appealing that," Thomas said. "I guess maybe the NFLPA might sue on his behalf down the line to try to balance the commissioner's powers, so I'm not sure."
And he’s right. TB12’s unenviable situation is, as the Joker so elequently put it, what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
Joe also knows firsthand about the NFL rolling the roulette wheel when it comes to suspensions – just last week, the NFL decided that Cleveland’s BAMF-yet-perpetually-suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon had been reinstated from his "indefinite" suspension (YAY!), but also decided that Gordon is still suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, just like Brady.
These next CBA negotiations are going to be all kinds of fun.