As his NFC East counterpart Jerry Jones did, Giants co-owner John Mara voiced his support for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
But make no mistake, Mara is as tired of #DeflateGate as a lot of people are, saying: “I’m saddened it’s come to this.”
“We went the two weeks going into the Super Bowl that’s all we talked about, Deflategate and now coming into training camp that’s all we’re talking about,’’ Mara said, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “Listen, the commissioner had a very difficult job to do here. But at the end of the day I think he made a decision based on the evidence and the facts that were before him and without regard to the profile of the player or his personal relationship with the owner.
“You know what? That’s what he’s paid to do and he did his job here. You can argue with whether it was fair or unfair but he had to make a very tough decision in very difficult circumstances and that’s what he’s paid to do.’’
Mara and Jones and Patriots owner Robert Kraft and their 29 partners combine to pay Goodell very handsomely to be their piñata in cases like this, to the tune of $81 million the last two years.
And despite his displeasure with the longevity of the story, Mara said Goodell was doing the best he could — and you can read into that what you choose.
“I support the commissioner in this,’’ Mara said. “I’ve been around him enough to know his intention is always to try to do the right thing. I don’t always agree with the decisions he makes, but I know he tries to do the right thing and I know this was a very unpleasant situation for him here. We’re dealing with the best player in the league and you’re dealing with an owner who’s been as good as any owner in the league and somebody he has a close personal relationship with. So he had to make a tough decision.’’
Of course, intentions and results aren’t always the same thing, as an entire offseason has been swallowed by a story that won’t go away.