Skip to main content

Ravens owner denies report he's pressured Goodell

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has issued a statement denying a report he has exerted any pressure on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to uphold the four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

ESPN's Sal Paolantonio told a San Diego radio station on Friday that Bisciotti and Colts owner Jim Irsay were among a group of AFC owners who would be angered if the NFL were to exonerate Brady and vacate the quarterback's suspension.

"I have not and will not put any pressure on the Commissioner or anyone representing the NFL office to take action in what everyone is calling 'Deflategate,' " Bisciotti said Sunday in a team-issued statement. "The story circulating that I have put pressure on Roger (Goodell) is 100 percent wrong.

"The reports are unfair to (Patriots owner) Robert Kraft, who is an honorable person, and to his franchise. Let's talk about football and the start of training camps. Fans and people like me want the issue resolved now."

The NFL announced on May 11 that Brady was suspended for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. That came less than a week after independent investigator Ted Wells found that it was "more probable than not" that Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" regarding the deflation of Patriots game balls used in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts.

Brady's appeal was heard on June 23, a process that included ten hours of testimony at the league's New York headquarters. The Patriots report to training camp on Wednesday.

NFL Media's Albert Breer asked Steelers president Art Rooney on Sunday about the potential of owners influencing Goodell.

"No, this part of it is Roger's decision, absolutely," Rooney said.

"It's in the commissioner's hands. I assume it'll be soon, but I really don't know."

UPDATE: Paolantonio backed off his comments during a Monday appearance on WJZ-FM in Baltimore.

"I think (Bisciotti is) 100 percent right to put the statement out because he hasn't put any pressure on Roger Goodell, and he hasn't talked about 'Deflategate' at all, publicly or privately from what I was told," Paolantonio said. "Reports up in New England were that I said owners were pressuring Goodell. Everybody just heard it. I never said that owners were pressuring Goodell. But what I said about Steve Bisciotti, I shouldn't have even said that because it's pretty clear when you read his statement that it sounds like he doesn't care what the commissioner does. He just wants the commissioner to act.

"I was wrong to say what I said because clearly it sounds like Steve Bisciotti doesn't care. And what I was able to find out pretty clearly, is that the owners are not pressuring Roger Goodell, at all. So I never should have reported that. And the other thing, too, is that it wasn't a report. It was just me talking on a radio station. It was my opinion and it was speculation."

*The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses what coaches are on the heat seat heading into 2015. *

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content