Aaron Rodgers is good at throwing footballs, but he threw some shade at Tom Brady over his infamous ‘Deflategate’ scandal and his diminished footballs.
The 2022 NFL Playoffs are underway, and there’s a good chance that Aaron Rodgers will face Tom Brady in the NFC Championship game. When and if these two titans of the gridiron meet, Tom, 44, might have a score to settle with Aaron, 38, over an offhanded comment the Green Bay Packers quarterback made while chatting with Sportsnet’s Cabbie Richards. After being handed a football to throw at a drone, Aaron quipped, “This is too firm for the Patriots.”
Aaron was, of course, referring to Deflategate, the scandal that arose from the 2014 AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts accused the Patriots of deflating their footballs, making them easier to throw and catch. The NFL launched an investigation, which concluded that it was “more probably than not” that the Patriots personnel intentionally deflated footballs and that Brady was “at least generally aware,” according to NBC News. Jim McNally, a Patriots locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant, were named as the two mainly at fault and were suspended indefinitely from the league.
The NFL suspended Tom for four games, and Brady denied the allegations that he was part of a massive cheating scheme. “I did nothing wrong,” he said in a Facebook post, per NBC News. “There is no ‘smoking gun,’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.” Brady would fight the suspension before ultimately accepting the punishment.
Tom accepted the suspension because the scandal was causing “Just too much anxiety,” he told Oprah Winfrey in 2018, per CBS Sports. “I realized I couldn’t win. It was divided attention, and I was tired of that, tired of waking up and having a call with someone from the Players Association. I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to use this as an opportunity, to have the month of September off for the first time in like 16, 21 years, and ‘I’m going to take advantage of this.’ “
Aaron’s playful jab might come back to haunt him. Tom is 3-1 in head-to-head matchups with Rodgers, having scored two wins over Aaron and the Packers as a Patriot and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.