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The New England Patriots' decision not to fight its Deflate-Gate punishment won't impact Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters after the conclusion of league meetings in San Francisco, Goodell said he was "looking forward" to hearing Brady's response to the suspension. A report by investigator Ted Wells found that Brady probably knew about attempts to let air out of footballs before the AFC championship game.
"If there’s new information, or information that can be helpful to us in getting this right, I want to hear directly from Tom on that," Goodell said.
Goodell said he hadn't yet considered demands from the NFL players union to recuse himself as arbitrator in the case, arguing that the commissioner himself will be a "central witness."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said this week that he wouldn't not appeal Goodell's decision to strip the team of two draft picks and impose a $1 million fine.
Goodell said he admired Kraft's decision.
He also said the league had nothing to do with the Patriots' decision to suspend two assistants who were implicated in the Wells report as being part of efforts to deflate balls to Brady's preferences.
And Goodell said the league is now considering changes to rules for the 2015 season to prevent similar scandals.
- Deflate-Gate: Union Formally Asks Commissioner Goodell to Step Aside as Arbitrator
- Deflate-Gate: NFL Union Appeals Tom Brady's Suspension
— Jon Schuppe