As #DeflateGate lingers for what eventually will be the human gestation period and beyond, folks are getting sick of it. Some of the folks getting sick of it own NFL teams.
Per a league source, a sense has emerged among some owners that it’s time to put the football-inflation imbroglio in the rear-view mirror. It already has marred a Super Bowl and hovered over an entire offseason; it now threatens to be one of the major story lines throughout the 2015 season.
The best way to keep that from happening (for an explanation on how it could continue to be a story line throughout the 2015 season, stay tuned) is to settle the Tom Brady case and end all litigation.
The problem continues to be that the NFL and NFL Players Association can’t agree on an acceptable resolution, with Brady resisting even a one-game suspension and the NFL insisting that Brady accept the findings of the Ted Wells report — and for the NFLPA to agree that the NFL has broad power to suspend players for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game and for obstructing NFL investigations.
Fueling the league’s position is a group of hard-core, old-school owners who strongly desire to retain full power over the workforce. The 2011 lockout was about money. The current fight is about control, and the owners who are pushing the league office to hold firm want a victory not because it hurts Brady and the Patriots specifically but because it generally keeps the players from chipping away at management’s authority over the sport.
Ultimately, that’s why the NFL insisted on keeping final say over matters like this one. The NFL wants to run its business the way the NFL see fit, with no third parties having the ability to dictate to folks who are accustomed, based on their extreme wealth and influence, to doing the dictating. With that final say gradually eroding in areas like the substance-abuse and PED policies, game-integrity issues and the Personal Conduct Policies are the last significant areas in which the NFL tells the players how it’s going to be.