Jets' Veteran Cornerback Questions Rulebook, NFL Commissioner's Motivation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tom Brady has an ally, on the Jets of all teams.

Always one to speak his mind, Antonio Cromartie came to Brady’s defense on Thursday, telling ESPN’s “First Take” he has a real problem with how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handled the “DeflateGate” saga.

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“Honestly, I don’t think (Brady) should be suspended,” Cromartie said. “In the rulebook, there’s no suspension in the rules. There’s only a $25,000 fine. So I don’t see how you can try to lay the hammer down on someone when the rule states for itself there’s no suspension for it. There’s only a maximum fine for $25,000.”

Brady was suspended four games for his role in the underinflation of footballs in last seasons’s AFC Championship game. The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback appealed the ban, but it was upheld by Goodell. The NFL Players’ Association is in the process of suing in federal court to get the suspension overturned. Both Brady and Goodell are due in federal court in New York City on Wednesday.

Cromartie also questioned the commissioner’s motivation for punishing Brady.

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“Are we trying to go back to the Spygate and get more from that? Or are we just leading back to us, saying ‘Well, I have full control of everything. I made the rules as it goes,’ rather than follow the rules of what’s already been written,” Cromartie said.

The veteran cornerback said regardless of how the case turns out, the league’s actions to this point have set a bad precedent going forward.

“Nobody’s safe,” Cromartie said. “Nobody’s safe no matter who you are. Roger is going to do what he wants to do. It don’t matter what the rules say. He’s going to make his own rules as he goes. And it shouldn’t be like that.

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“But at the end of the day, we as players gave him the freedom to do whatever he wants to do,” Cromartie added. “We signed the sheet. So we had our own fault for doing it. We should have been more detailed. We shouldn’t have rushed into things. We should have pushed it to another month and a half and made the owners lose money, and then you go from there.”