In the wake of U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman's decision to nullify the NFL's four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke extensively on the subject Tuesday on ESPN's Mike & Mike.
Although Brady is currently in line to play for the entirety of the 2015 season, the NFL has filed an appeal with regard to Berman's ruling.
According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Goodell explained the reasoning behind continuing on with the Deflategate case considering his initial decision was overturned:
At the same time, the commissioner insisted he will no longer be front and center when it comes to Deflategate once the NFL's regular season begins Sept. 10, per ESPN West Palm:
When pressed by Mike & Mike guest and Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter on the NFL's recent poor record when being taken to court, Goodell was unwilling to concede defeat due to past success when appealing, according to Phil Perry of CSNNE.com:
One of the main points of contention throughout the Deflategate investigation and court case has been Goodell's role in determining player discipline.
Even though the CBA gives the commissioner that type of absolute power, he admitted Tuesday he wouldn't mind exploring other avenues as it relates to the disciplinary process, per Will Brinson of CBS Sports:
Yes, I'm very open to changing my role in that. It's become extremely time consuming. I think I have to be focused on a variety of other issues. And that's what I've discussed with many owners over the last couple years. We believe a discipline officer or some type of a panel could make at least the initial decision and then a designee of mine on some type of appeal would be a better system.
Goodell was also asked about what now seems to be a tenuous relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. It was long assumed by observers that he and Kraft were as close as any commissioner and owner could possibly be, but Kraft's harsh criticism over the manner in which Deflategate was handled has seemingly changed that.
The commissioner disagrees, though, and he doesn't believe there are necessarily any hard feelings between him and Kraft, according to ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert:
Goodell closed out the interview by chalking up his decision not to attend the season opener between the Pats and the Pittsburgh Steelers to the fact he was present for New England's past two home games. He then revealed he will be at Soldier Field for the clash between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.
Although the commissioner touched on most topics the general public have been curious about since the Deflategate decision was handed down, Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated questioned his sincerity:
The Deflategate scandal has yet to reach its true conclusion, and there is no question it will be talked about for many years to come, especially when compared to future disciplinary cases.
Even so, Goodell seems more than ready to move on from a situation that has caused a great deal of embarrassment for the NFL and the Patriots organization.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.