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NFL, ESPN go back and forth about Manning investigation

The Scream Getty Images

For anyone who thinks ESPN is in bed with the NFL, on this one they’re sleeping with their backs to each other.

Tuesday, T.J. Quinn of ESPN reported that the NFL declined an invitation to collaborate with Major League Baseball and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency regarding an investigation into the Al Jazeera report linking multiple pro athletes to PEDs. In response, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on Twitter, “This is wrong. NFL has worked with USADA & MLB from the start.”

Quinn thereafter responded with this: “No, it isn’t. NFL is not working ‘with’ them, it’s communicating with them while they work together.”

Aiello then fired back. “One more time: wrong,” Aiello said. “We are working with both and have been from the start. No semantics.”

Quinn got the last word. So far.

One more time: no, it isn’t,” Quinn said.

It’s unclear precisely what the NFL is doing when it comes to the investigation of Peyton Manning’s alleged link to HGH, because the NFL is handling the situation like most of its investigations — by saying nothing about it. The problem for the league comes from the very public way that the league handled the #DeflateGate investigation and prosecution of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

A separate problem for the league, the Broncos, and Peyton Manning is that the story that on all levels is a non-story has become a story again, with only 11 days to go until the Super Bowl. Unless the league at some level prefers that the story that on all levels is a non-story becomes a story again, if for no reason other than to drive more interest in Super Bowl 50.

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62 Responses to “NFL, ESPN go back and forth about Manning investigation”
  1. purplengold says: Jan 27, 2016 9:54 AM

    The photo says it all.

  2. deflatedfootballs says: Jan 27, 2016 9:56 AM

    Greg Aiello replied in four minutes after Quinn broke the story, but Tom Brady tho.. thru media day during the SB week and they did nothing.

  3. gr365 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:00 AM

    Integrity!*

  4. celticsforever says: Jan 27, 2016 10:01 AM

    You said “the prosecution of Tom Brady”. I’m sure you meant ” the persecution of Tom Brady”

  5. johnkgc says: Jan 27, 2016 10:02 AM

    Once again the NFL finds a way to stay relevant in the off season by conducting another investigation that will go on for far too long. I thought the whole thing was dumb last off season when they tried taking down a Super Bowl winning QB from New England, but it certainly didn’t hurt the ratings this year. Maybe they’re evil geniuses after all…

  6. knowspinzone says: Jan 27, 2016 10:04 AM

    Roger will do his very best to keep this particular cheating buried.

  7. audge86 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:06 AM

    Super Bowl ticket prices are down significantly compared to last year.

    The league will start leaking something soon. Nowhere near as much interest

  8. rdav29 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:07 AM

    Can we just stick to the positives about the super bowl this year?

  9. scrp2 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:07 AM

    By far Manning’s best year was 2013 with 55 TD passes with 115.1 QB rating. Come on, NFL knew then.

  10. rundmc3 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:11 AM

    No wonder ESPN always gets stuck with the crap Monday night Football games…

  11. jjb0811 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:11 AM

    Funny how under Goodell, there’s always a scandal. PM & HGH, Bounty Gate, Spy Gate, Deflate gate, & bullying come to mind. Add in R Rice, Hardy, lockout & concussions. Why is it no other sports league has as many scandals as the NFL? Browns Tackle was right, it’s the new WWF. Small stories manufactured to be bigger than life for publicity.

  12. raidernation210 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:14 AM

    Loser patriots fans trying to justify their cheating franchise and the deflator and the cell phone breaker in 3…2…1

  13. Kaz says: Jan 27, 2016 10:16 AM

    The leagues public response to a made up gate like deflate gate during the Superbowl week last year looks even worse now as they keep this quiet to preserve Mannings legacy. Should choose whose legacy deserves preserving. But credibility isn’t something the League has much of anymore.

  14. bitw44 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:18 AM

    This is why we will get Ravens Titans as a Week 13 MNF matchup

  15. realpatsfan says: Jan 27, 2016 10:20 AM

    Come on man!!!
    Fair play and fair persecution.
    What goes for TB has to go for PM.
    The SHIELD is so stained you couldn’t clean it with a 55 gallon drum of shout.
    Good bye Roger…

  16. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 27, 2016 10:20 AM

    The NFL* lies again and again? You don’t say.
    :)

  17. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:22 AM

    Man, where’s Freddie Blassie and Lou Albano when you need them

  18. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 27, 2016 10:23 AM

    You know the US Anti-Doping Agency will have no problem naming names.

    It really shouldn’t be hard to find the paper trail tying Ashley Manning’s “shipments” back to the same people tied to BALCO, as Al Jazeera has already hinted.

    PEDton* and his apologists are getting nervous.
    :)

    #FilthyDopingCheat
    #TheCheatWillRetireInDisgrace

  19. bigbits2 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:27 AM

    We’ve been through this before. There are so many layers to the NFL bureaucracy that when messages get mixed, everyone there gets to shrug their shoulders and say “Not my fault”. “Not my responsibility”. It’s not the fault of their 2 public PR people who take the cautious approach.

    If enough people in the league office steer a conversation 1 way, then that’s what the story will be.
    Just don’t expect the NFL to correct their own mistakes, misinformation, or lies from some of their people.
    That’s not in their DNA.

  20. tajuara says: Jan 27, 2016 10:33 AM

    You know the US Anti-Doping Agency will have no problem naming names.

    It really shouldn’t be hard to find the paper trail tying Ashley Manning’s “shipments” back to the same people tied to BALCO, as Al Jazeera has already hinted.

    PEDton* and his apologists are getting nervous.:)

    #FilthyDopingCheat
    #TheCheatWillRetireInDisgrace

    ——————————————————

    Funny that this story is not just about Manning, but for some reason all the focus seems to be just on him. Let’s assume he used HGH in 2011, that’s four games suspension, but how about Mathews using PEDs for the NFC Championship game last year?

  21. factman66 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:36 AM

    But but but Pats fans said ESPN reports is the NFL’S propaganda machine. LOL the sad part is they have no idea how brainwashed by Kraft’s propaganda they are, its like they read off of cue cards or something hahaha.

  22. zombiepatriot says: Jan 27, 2016 10:38 AM

    I take this as a smokescreen.

    The NFL and ESPN have looked terrible and continue to wear the disgrace of #Framegate and they are using this issue to help change the perception but the problem is people like me are not buying it.

  23. jag1959 says: Jan 27, 2016 10:44 AM

    BSPN doesn’t long tolerate their minions crossing 345 Park Ave. T.J. Quinn is playing with fire, unless of course it suits the league’s agenda to manufacture a controversy. This is a much safer one for them than what they brewed up last year though, Peyton’s post SB retirement can simply end it.

  24. TeeHeeLOLatPatssHaters says: Jan 27, 2016 10:54 AM

    3-1

    nuff said:)

    #bradystillacheat
    #offtoschoolnowlittleguy
    #mommyusaidbradywouldalwayswin

  25. bullcharger says: Jan 27, 2016 10:56 AM

    The USADA has no affiliation with the NFL and based on the way they have worked with MLB and with the pro cycling I don’t think they are likely to respect the NFLs wishes when it comes to exposing any athletes that were involved in this. If they find something they will report it.

    If Manning or others were involved the NFL won’t have an option to handle it quietly now regardless of how they are working with the USADA.

  26. bullcharger says: Jan 27, 2016 10:59 AM

    TeeHeeLOLatPatssHaters says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:54 AM

    3-1

    nuff said:)

    #bradystillacheat
    #offtoschoolnowlittleguy
    #mommyusaidbradywouldalwayswin

    —————–

    Quickly give me the championship game record of every great QB outside of manning and Brady.

    You can’t because no one cares. It’s all about Super Bowls.

    It’s not 3-1 that Manning has to worry about it’s 1-3.

    For Brady it’s already 4.

  27. bullcharger says: Jan 27, 2016 11:05 AM

    paulrevereshorse1775 says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:22 AM

    Man, where’s Freddie Blassie and Lou Albano when you need them

    ————–

    Those are some great throwback names!!!

    Hate to say it, but I am starting to agree with those that see the NFL turning into the WWE.

    As with all other sensationalized and scripted reality shows, eventually you get a different audience once the novelty wares off.

    The NFL is increasing their audience and also revenue at the moment so it seems like a great idea, but soon enough they will lose a lot of true sports fans and be left with people that only care about the circus.

  28. bullcharger says: Jan 27, 2016 11:06 AM

    raidernation210 says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:14 AM

    Loser patriots fans trying to justify their cheating franchise and the deflator and the cell phone breaker in 3…2…1

    ————–

    This article is about Manning isn’t it?

  29. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 27, 2016 11:06 AM

    Funny that this story is not just about Manning, but for some reason all the focus seems to be just on him. Let’s assume he used HGH in 2011, that’s four games suspension, but how about Mathews using PEDs for the NFC Championship game last year?
    ————–
    Highest profile player of course.

    I actually think it would be more comical to see a guy like Derek Jeter nailed for this.

  30. footballboozer says: Jan 27, 2016 11:08 AM

    I’m still waiting on the truth. I won’t say a word until I read the Tweet from Mort.
    After all, he knows the deal.

  31. torebear says: Jan 27, 2016 11:09 AM

    Please pats fans. I get it. You feel cheated. But look. You won the freaking superbowl last year! Please stop making this very serious doping issue about the way the pats were treated by the NFL in deflate gate.

    It pollutes the comment section.

  32. bullcharger says: Jan 27, 2016 11:09 AM

    scrp2 says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:07 AM

    By far Manning’s best year was 2013 with 55 TD passes with 115.1 QB rating. Come on, NFL knew then.

    ————————

    Manning’s best year was in 2006. He won the Super Bowl. I am sure he will agree too.

    Having a statistically great year and then getting completely embarrassed in the Super Bowl doesn’t make a great year.

  33. joetoronto says: Jan 27, 2016 11:18 AM

    No integrity equals no future.

  34. baw409 says: Jan 27, 2016 11:20 AM

    NFL to Espn..

    You guys say something about Manning and HGH, We will Deny it to make it look like we are fair…and not in bed with each other. he public is stupid . hey will buy it. I mean its Peyton Manning

    Espn. Ok but you better give us better MNF match ups..

    NFL..Ok Deal…

    Then We go silent…

  35. TeeHeeLOLatPatsHaters says: Jan 27, 2016 11:22 AM

    torebear says:
    Jan 27, 2016 11:09 AM

    Please pats fans. I get it. You feel cheated. But look. You won the freaking superbowl last year! Please stop making this very serious doping issue about the way the pats were treated by the NFL in deflate gate.

    —-
    We’re not the only ones. It’s in the article.:) And that’s because it’s relevant.
    :)

  36. The collective IQ of the haters is lower than the PSI of Brady's game balls says: Jan 27, 2016 11:25 AM

    raidernation210 says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:14 AM

    Loser patriots fans trying to justify their cheating franchise and the deflator and the cell phone breaker in 3…2…1
    ======================

    Here is a news flash for all of you low information voters out there. When it comes to cheating, each particular accusation is a singular event. The way people feel about one, has no impact on the other. If, and I should say that again, IF the Patriots are guilty of deflating footballs, no Patriots fan is saying, “look, look, that team/player is cheating so its ok if my team/player is cheating”. No one. Not one person.

    So far, the accusations against Manning are every bit, and in many opinions, more damning than the accusations against the Patriots. The outrage by Patriots fans is that the NFL, the fans, etc, all have a very different attitude about Manning than they do about Brady. Its down right weird to be honest.

    If I accused Brady of switching out the footballs from leather to synthetic (knowing its just completely false and made up), you all would pull out stats and everything to prove that the cheating was so egregious and damning and he should be executed in the square for all to see. But when accusations of PED use (which the commissioner himself deemed to be right on par with ball manipulation), all of a sudden everyone says, “wait, lets pause on this, not jump to conclusions. Lets consider the source, this is nothing but BS…”

    It might be BS, but that doesn’t mean it should be passively investigated. If you are gonna investigate every little accusation, and take it to the limit, even going so far as to lie in your ruling, then request the documents be sealed, I think you need to go to those extremes for everyone

  37. The collective IQ of the haters is lower than the PSI of Brady's game balls says: Jan 27, 2016 11:32 AM

    For the fans that are interested in the truth, not just the NFL’s self serving version of the truth, you are going to get what you want in this case. The NFL may want this to go away, and they may give us a half assed investigation where they try hard to not uncover anything, but USADA isn’t going to be concerned with Manning legacy in the same way that Goodell is. I have seen the word karma thrown around a lot, so I guess the karma of going out of your way to take down the pats, is coming back in the fact that now that USADA is involved, the NFL cant cover it up like they want to

  38. ckg0913 says: Jan 27, 2016 11:34 AM

    Wait, wait, wait. Where are the investigations for the other NFL players in the report???

  39. j0esixpack says: Jan 27, 2016 11:41 AM

    Peyton Manning and his wife can clear this up INSTANTLY

    Take it like a man Peyton. Release your and your wife’s medical records if you can prove she WAS legitimately using HGH while she was pregnant with your twins.

    Of course, none of us believe that for a second. So we know you won’t cooperate and release the records.

    And why isn’t Goodell demanding the medical records too? Not to mention demanding Manning’s cellphone for their so-called “investigation.” Goodell has no more right to cellphones or medical records with Manning than he did with Brady – but that didn’t stop him then.

    This is ACTUALLY about PEDs Roger – you know – the thing you compared footballs deflated by the cold to? Something that is SO important to the “integrity of the game” – but little or no interest now, huh!

  40. Packernet says: Jan 27, 2016 12:10 PM

    In two weeks Manning will be retired so who cares?

  41. 205diamonds says: Jan 27, 2016 12:13 PM

    Goodell obviously believes in the saying, “that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

    He and the NFL are definitely inconsistent in how they treat players and teams. Just ask the Saints, the Cowboys, the Redskins, and the Patriots.

  42. jasonculhane says: Jan 27, 2016 12:16 PM

    Peyton had his best year in 2013 because he had Decker, JThomas, DThomas, Moreno, and Welker on offense. Not because of HGH. Just FYI….

    Doesn’t the NFL tested for HGH? Manning, like a lab rat, as far as we know was tested for everything before and after every season coming to the Broncos, I have to believe, unless proven otherwise he was tested for all drugs, banned substances etc, and I also have to believe he knew that. So I don’t believe this story, and if he did it during 2011, he didn’t play at all, so trying to mesh the two together and say that he played in 2013 with HGH in his system is pretty far fetched, by that time the benefits would slim to none.

  43. statsjunkie2789 says: Jan 27, 2016 12:19 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:59 AM
    TeeHeeLOLatPatssHaters says:
    Jan 27, 2016 10:54 AM

    3-1

    nuff said:)

    #bradystillacheat
    #offtoschoolnowlittleguy
    #mommyusaidbradywouldalwayswin

    —————–

    Quickly give me the championship game record of every great QB outside of manning and Brady.

    You can’t because no one cares. It’s all about Super Bowls.

    It’s not 3-1 that Manning has to worry about it’s 1-3.

    For Brady it’s already 4.

    __________

    By that rational, Terry Bradshaw and Aikman are in contention for GOAT? Right… it’s almost as if statistics should play a role in how we decide how to measure qb success…

  44. statsjunkie2789 says: Jan 27, 2016 12:20 PM

    Terry Bradshaw, 4 – 0… the GOAT

  45. switchwitch59 says: Jan 27, 2016 12:21 PM

    NFL must still be trying to find someone to bribe at USADA to bury their HERO’s cheating.

  46. patfanken says: Jan 27, 2016 12:43 PM

    How is this a “non-story”. It seems to me that NO one in the Manning camp has denied the fact that HGH was shipped to the Manning household. No one. So unless you are willing to believe that the HGH was for the use of his pregnant (at the time) wife, or one of his other kids….or the nanny; it damned will IS a story that needs to be investigated.

    I don’t see how that will be a problem for Manning. The NFL will simply change the rules so making HGH legal and then make the rule retroactive to the day before the HGH was shipped to Manning. (sarcasm)

  47. mrlaloosh says: Jan 27, 2016 12:43 PM

    PED-ton Manning will retire after the SB so it doesn’t
    matter. I believe just about every player in the NFL is on HGH. Can’t be detected after 2 weeks.
    Goodell likes Papa John pizza so Manning is safe.

    Roger? ROGER? Where are you and Ted Wells?

  48. tagtak2000 says: Jan 27, 2016 12:56 PM

    jasonculhane. Doubt they drug test in the off season or when someone is on IR, but that does not make it any less illegal. I spoke with an OB doctor who said he can think of NO case where HGH would be safe for pregnant women. It is mostly used for teens who look like they will not grow normally. This whole thing is a farce…

  49. welltobefair says: Jan 27, 2016 1:01 PM

    Why do you claim this is not a story? Is it because, since its the NFL & ESPN’s love child/golden boy family heirloom Peyton Manning? Is his ego as delicate as his body? Is everyone just trying to claim it’s not a story to spare poor peyton’s feelings so maybe the refs can help him ride off into the sunset with one more ring??

    Come one. This is more of a story than any claims of footballs having .02 psi less air than they thought, or one team being the scapegoat for all 32 for a bounty-type program.

  50. bobsnygiants says: Jan 27, 2016 1:26 PM

    Yea right, if it was Brady NFL they would of been all hands on deck.

  51. bobsnygiants says: Jan 27, 2016 1:28 PM

    if it was Brady, All hands on deck.

  52. j0esixpack says: Jan 27, 2016 2:23 PM

    What Roger Goodell and certain owners don’t seem to understand that at the heart of the “integrity of the game” is the notion of having rules that apply to all people equally

    Even though the evidence proves the Cold deflated footballs, the NFL has a rule regarding equipment tampering – and they’ve applied it in the past (a fine), or even chosen to just give a warning.

    In Brady’s case they abandon the existing rule, fabricate a scandal and a punishment, comparing a 1 PSI loss in the cold to PED use to justify a 4 game suspension

    Now, with ACTUAL evidence suggesting Peyton Manning used a PED, Goodell not only won’t apply the same rule and punishment – he won’t even engage in anything more than a hushed “internal investigation” by an office that has no credibility anyways

  53. fishman518 says: Jan 27, 2016 3:29 PM

    Someone will rag on the patriots and their fans using the 3….2…..1…..countdown as if they should have no opinion on any other subject in 3…..2…..1…..

  54. VenerableAxiom says: Jan 27, 2016 5:59 PM

    LOL. All these people wanting so desperately to get something on Manning. As if it will somehow exonerate the patriots of their record of breaking the rules. Ironically, neither is going to happen.

  55. majormalphunktion says: Jan 27, 2016 6:06 PM

    Super Bowl ticket prices are down significantly compared to last year.
    —————————————————
    Because NE and SEA fanbases are rabid. That was such a better SB matchup than this one.
    I’ll be happy for Cam, and sad for Manning, but it is not must watch TV this year.

  56. 46namredyps11 says: Jan 27, 2016 6:37 PM

    While I won’t pass judgment until we have more facts, like I did with the deflation overreach/reaction, I am really hoping there’s nothing to this ridiculousness. But Brady gets accused of ball tampering, a going almost 5 over the speed limit offense, and people want blood. Manning gets accused of PEDs, a felony level crime relatively, and there are people telling us it’s no biggie, challenging the credibility of the source and telling us maybe it should be allowed. The double standard is what is galling to me. Congrats on being a Teflon media/Patriots troll darling, Peyton. Here’s to hoping there’s nothing to this issue.

  57. croc3968 says: Jan 27, 2016 7:09 PM

    This is about more than Manning, but the NFL DOES NOT want to be involved with this they want to bury their heads. MLB and USADA won’t bury their heads. The NFL will be dragged kicking and screaming into this where ever it leads.

    Sorry the “narrative” won’t help the NFL this time like it has in “Deflategate”, “Bountygate” Ray Rice and so on….It’s a real investigation not a PR war.

  58. zigthepatsfan says: Jan 27, 2016 7:21 PM

    Quinn thereafter responded with this: “No, it isn’t. NFL is not working ‘with’ them, it’s communicating with them while they work together.”

    This Quinn guy seems to be trolling the NFL lol They’re not working “with” them, they’re just working “together”!

  59. croc3968 says: Jan 27, 2016 7:27 PM

    Quinn said the NFL was just “talking” to them. I agree the NFL wants to bury it’s head like MLB used to do.

  60. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Jan 27, 2016 9:03 PM

    zigthepatsfan says:
    Jan 27, 2016 7:21 PM
    Quinn thereafter responded with this: “No, it isn’t. NFL is not working ‘with’ them, it’s communicating with them while they work together.”

    This Quinn guy seems to be trolling the NFL lol They’re not working “with” them, they’re just working “together”!

    ———

    I think it’s a matter of who Quinn is referring to with the word ‘they’. I took his statement to mean: “No, it isn’t. NFL is not working ‘with’ them, it’s communicating with them while they (MLB & USADA) work together.”

  61. zigthepatsfan says: Jan 27, 2016 10:01 PM

    paulrevereshorse1775 says:

    I think it’s a matter of who Quinn is referring to with the word ‘they’. I took his statement to mean: “No, it isn’t. NFL is not working ‘with’ them, it’s communicating with them while they (MLB & USADA) work together.”
    ————

    makes sense I guess. This is why I dont like Twitter

  62. fjw2 says: Jan 28, 2016 11:38 AM

    Don’t be so narrow minded. There are many, many reasons not to like twitter.

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