Aaron Rodgers Talks 'Incredibly False' and 'Ridiculous Narrative' About Deflategate

Adam WellsOctober 13, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger

Nearly seven years after Phil Simms commented about Aaron Rodgers' preference to have the football inflated as much as possible during cold-weather games, the Green Bay Packers star addressed the story. 

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers called it an "incredibly false" and "ridiculous narrative" in the midst of all of the Deflategate drama with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots that he prefers to throw an overinflated football:

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

"I love rebutting narratives that are incredibly false.. there was a narrative used during deflategate that I like balls over inflated but all I ever told Phil Simms was I can't throw a flat ball" ~<a href="https://twitter.com/AaronRodgers12?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AaronRodgers12</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PatMcAfeeShowLIVE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE</a> <a href="https://t.co/fpA5xU2RXc">pic.twitter.com/fpA5xU2RXc</a>

The topic came up when McAfee asked about the air pressure in the football while discussing Rodgers' interception in the first quarter of Sunday's 25-22 overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Per USA Today's Christopher Kuhagen, Simms brought up the topic of how Rodgers prefers the football to feel in his hand in the cold when he was broadcasting a November 2014 matchup between the Packers and Patriots. 

Simms said on the CBS telecast that Rodgers told him during a pregame production meeting he likes "to push the limit in how much air we can put in the football."

"You can't even throw a ball that's overinflated, because the referees have the ability to go through bag before the game and they check PSI levels on every single football," Rodgers said. 

After McAfee briefly moved on from the subject, Rodgers revisited it because he said Brady's lawyers used Simms' comments from the broadcast during an appeal hearing in 2015 after the NFL suspended Brady for Deflategate. 

The Deflategate controversy stems from comments made by then-Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson after the 2015 AFC Championship Game. 

Grigson told reporters during the NFL Scouting Combine that the Colts "notified the league about our concerns" that the Patriots might be using under-inflated footballs.

That led to the NFL's hiring of an independent investigator, Ted Wells, to look into the accusations. Wells' report, released in May 2015, found it probable that Patriots employees intentionally deflated footballs and Brady was "at least generally aware."

Brady wound up being suspended for four games, which he served at the start of the 2016 season. The Patriots were fined $1 million and forfeited their first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft and a fourth-rounder in 2017. 

The revelation of Simms' discussion with Rodgers during a pregame meeting from a seven-year-old game may have never come to light if Chidobe Awuzie didn't intercept the Packers quarterback's pass Sunday afternoon.    


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