My Patriots Horizontal And Vertical Big Board Plus Deflategate Thoughts

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

This week is supposed to be fun. Every team and every fan of those teams is getting amped up for the NFL Draft and what new players are going to make their teams better. For Patriots fans, Thursday might as well just be another day because the Patriots are missing one of the most precious pieces of capital an NFL team has, their first round pick. Today, Patriot’s fans took another punch to the stomach when the courts happened to make their ruling on the NFL’s appeal of Tom Brady’s 4 game suspension for possibly knowing about footballs that may have been tampered with. Sadly, the courts got it right.

According to the letter of the law, what Roger Goodell did was within the means of his power given to him by the CBA signed by the NFLPA and the Owners. Now, common sense would have squashed this over a year ago, but when has Goodell or the NFL got anything right the first time around? To their credit, they have led a smear campaign that even the Presidential candidates should be jealous of. All the false information and half truths that were fed to major media outlets turned this minor infraction (that never was actually proven to have happened by the way) into a circus. For some reason, the NFL thinks smearing one of its greatest players of all time is good business. I have no idea what they are trying to prove, but frankly, it has become tiresome and boring.

I have no idea what Tom Brady will do next. It sounds like his options might be limited and we have to prepare for the reality that the Patriots will not have him for the 1st four games. I for one cannot wait for this to be over with. If that means biting the bullet and having Brady out, then that is what the team should do. I look forward to seeing what kind of retaliation Tom Brady and the Patriots will have in store for the other 31 NFL teams on the field. Sure, those first four weeks might be a struggle, but it just means the Patriots might have to wait to put on those hat and t-shirts a few later than usual.

I am sure all of you have your opinions on this topic, so let me hear them.

Now, onto what you are all really here for, my Big Board in all of its glory, both vertically and horizontally.

Click on the link and it should take you to an excel spreadsheet. Down below you will see a tab for the vertical board as well.

2016 horizonal-vertical big board

Thanks again to all the loyal readers and commentors here on the site. Without you guys, I would just be writing to myself, and that would be a little weird. Don’t get me wrong, I would still do it, but it would be weird. I was told I have the sickness by someone on twitter and they would be correct.



74 Responses to “My Patriots Horizontal And Vertical Big Board Plus Deflategate Thoughts”

  1. Mike Gerken says:

    Will anyone from on here be at the draft in Chicago? I will be there and would be happy to meet up with you guys to talk draft. I always like to put a face with the name. Let me know and we can find a way to meet up.

  2. ErnieAdamsLoveChild says:

    Questions to all,

    I apologize for the legal junk, but it’s necessary context for my questions…..

    In MLB. v. Garvey, Justice Stevens started his dissent with:

    It is well settled that an arbitrator “does not sit to dispense his own brand of industrial justice.” Steelworkers v. Enterprise Wheel & Car Corp., 363 U. S. 593, 597 (1960). We have also said fairly definitively, albeit in dicta, that a court should remedy an arbitrator’s “procedural aberrations” by vacating the award and remanding for further proceedings. Paperworkers v. Misco, Inc., 484 U. S. 29, 40–41, n. 10 (1987). Our cases, however, do not provide significant guidance as to what standards a federal court should use in assessing whether an arbitrator’s behavior is so untethered to either the agreement of the parties or the factual record so as to constitute an attempt to “dispense his own brand of industrial justice.” Nor, more importantly, do they tell us how, having made such a finding, courts should deal with “the extraordinary circumstance in which the arbitrator’s own rulings make clear that, more than being simply erroneous, his finding is completely inexplicable and borders on the irrational.”

    Have Stevens’ fears been realized?

    What possible evidence could Brady provide that would prove that Goodell and the NFL’s behavior is “untethered” or that the their findings are “inexplicable and border on the irrational”?

    Someone accused of murder could produce a live body. Someone accused of bank robbery could show that nothing was stolen. Someone accused on deflating footballs could show data indicating that the drop in air pressure was due to natural physical occurrences. What more is possible?

    Can you imagine any possible piece of evidence that would prove Brady’s innocence in the mind of Goodell and all those who believe he cheated? Or is their belief that Brady cheated a blind faith that cannot be perturbed by any evidence or scientific facts?

    The ramifications of this ruling for the NFLPA are difficult to comprehend.

  3. steve earle says:

    Good thing the Colts aren’t on the schedual this year the commis has set up such an air of hate and hostility that violence is more likely then not. If the league has any smarts at all they won’y even schedual the two teams for next season either.

    • matt says:

      If the NFL is smart they won’t have the Pats play the Colts for the Next 2 seasons? But there not smart there really stupid. This is the same group of guys that went after Brady instead of Rice Hardy Peterson and Suh for all there crap. And the Pats playing the Ravens should be a good game. Brady of course will be pissed and its always fun to see the Ravens coach crying and screaming on the side lines.

      • steve earle says:

        Yea matt smart is subjective in many cases before “IT” hits the fan. If Pat’s and Colts meet next year and a record audeance watches a great game on TV on like a Mom Night they are smart. If the game brakes out in a riot and dozens hare hospitalized that’s not so smart. It’s what IT becomes.

  4. Jim R says:

    This news has me so down I feel like I just came out of an Adele concert

    • steve earle says:

      My wife loves Adele, but I know just how you feel everything she sings sounds the same, bad.

  5. acm says:

    Did I say “F*ck Goodell” already? Well, F*ck him again …

    • steve earle says:

      Agree acm agree though I just have no idea what those words “f*ck” mean??????????? Golly gee, the purity program is awating moderationon one of my comments because I spelled out the word D a m n. Oh the horror!!!

  6. Chief says:

    I’ve had enough. This is all mush.

    Goofell pulled a fast one over the public with the help of a ESPN and certain media types. It is a fact that the NFL gives teams the right to work on the footballs, like breaking in a baseball glove. They allow the balls to be deflated to a limit…Brady admitted he likes them at the low end. Ok, so what balls were delated, big deal. Couple that with the weather conditions affecting the air in the balls. No wonder they were below the limit…it’s science. Wasn’t it Rodgers of GB who said he over inflates his balls, shouldn’t he be fined, draft picks taken and suspended then. The game was not affected. The NFL colluded with the Colts and allowed the first half to be played with in their mind, tampered balls…how is that not violating the integrity of the game. I guess integrity is a one way street. The balls were check, with un-calibrated and different gauges, the values not properly recorded, the balls were re-inflated to a proper limit at halftime and the Pats scored all their points in the 2nd half. The Wells report was an amateur, law and science term paper, bough online for millions of dollars. This whole thing was a scam from the start to deflect from other issues the NFL have screwed up over the year. This is embarrassing. The one I blame the most was Kraft for rolling over. Before the NFL submitted their case and evidence, he’s giving away the store and stabbing Brady in the back. Kraft is an old fool and he should have known better not to trust the crime organization he belongs to. As far as the cellphone. Brady notified he was going to do it. The NFL said go ahead, you can destroy it we have all we need. They had all the relevant texts and phone numbers prior and could have contacted the phone company for anything they needed…..the whole issue is a red hearing. The NFL spends the whole year checking footballs for violations. Really? Is there any doubt the NFL checked all the balls before, during and after each game, recorded the results, saw that weather conditions do have an effect on the air in the footballs, buried the results because the evidence would be contrary to their paid-off ‘’research’’? The NFL may win this case, hiding behind a piece of paper that gave this idiot Goofell, Stalin like rights, but the long term effect will put every judgment into a court and deepen the distrust between players and their slave owners. This marks the beginning of the end of the NFL.

    • steve earle says:

      Good call Chief, good call. I really hope Brady files a massive law suit against Good*#*@ole and the crooked NFL for malious defomation.

  7. steve earle says:

    Listening to the news tonight and one lawyer thinks Brady may have a fine defamation suit as a last resort if he loses his one last appeal.

    • Todti says:

      Wouldn’t that aim for compensation due to the image loss instead of the reversal of the suspension?

      • Jeff says:

        If that’s true, it’d be hard for him to show losses with his jersey dominating sales since the “news” broke.

      • steve earle says:

        True, very little chance to none that anything gets reversed but with a good law firm and all the evidence against the commish I think malious can clearly be shown. All that leaked misinfomation and junk “science”, it was designed to damage his reputation. Not a lawyer but we have all seen law suits with far less winners in courts.

  8. matt says:

    Well I look at it this way. Brady never really needed much motivation during the season. Well he will be very motivated when he gets back. Teams starting with the Browns will be playing against a pissed off Tom Brady. I cant wait when the Pats play the Ravens.Hes going to be up for that game and prob run up the score.

  9. carlo strada says:

    No ogbah in the first group? i think that now that JG will have his chance, Pats D will have to be able to create some preasure out from his hybrid front, ogbah who can play both DE-OLB is a nice option to bring it up.
    Instead of bullard, ogbah IMHO will be a better alternative. Just my thoughts

  10. acm says:

    F*ck Goodell and F*ck the NFL!

    • Big w says:

      I wonder what happens to Goodell if he ever comes to Boston. I’m a Western Canadian hockey player bin in some good scraps , but I’ve never quite been as scared as the lineup at Gillette with some drunk Townies.

      • steve earle says:

        Yea, Goodell isn’t coming anywhere near NE if he has any smarts. Still he is an ego driven ass, but those guys you mentioned, I’d buy the beer.

    • steve earle says:

      Damn right acm. NE fans need to cause the NFL to become uncomfortable. Making them loose money makes folks like the NFL owners uncomfortable. Maybe turn off non Patriots games. Maybe boycot NFL sponsers of non Patriots games. Help me out here guys what’s your ideas on this?

      • steve earle says:

        Hey PDS how come my reply needs moderation? If I put some ******’s it’s okay even though everyone knows what the word is? Is d**n so terriable even if I leave the a & m in it? Come on!

  11. EdgeX says:


    First thank you for all the hard work – it makes it worthwhile to come back to this site to read things!

    But one sticking point for me…105 players on that list – I think you forgot some – namely Tyler Boyd!

    …Unless…it was your plan all along not to mention him to prevent the “Curse of the Gerken” from striking again…then Good job! 🙂


    Thanks for adding Xavien Howard and Sterling Shepard to the list now we probably won’t get them! LOL

    • steve earle says:

      Curses Edge, you’ve jinxed us again, LOL.

      • EdgeX says:

        No, no – lesson learned from this draft season – if Mike likes a player for the Patriots – bad things will happen! Be afraid – be very afraid! 🙂

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Boyd was a tough cut for sure. I worry about his ability to get separation at the the next level. In college, he was such a technician that he was able to get open with his route running and his smarts. He is so good at the nuances of the game already that it worked to his advantage.
      Even then, he still struggled to get separation in college consistently. That will get even tougher at the next level. For where I think he will go, I just had to let him go.

      I did give him a 2nd/3rd round grade (working on my top 150 overall, looks like he is going to fall somewhere in the mid 60’s) This is a tough exercise and some names have to be cut. With WR not being a huge need, I wanted to limit my early prospects to those few that really excited me. If Boyd ends up a Patriot, I would not have any huge issue with it, depending who else was still on the board of course.

      Obviously that means next Friday we will be introducing Tyler Boyd as the newest Patriot. 😉

      • Todti says:

        You are painfully rational, Mike. Usually I’d say if the Patriots pick him he will contribute in some way, but I’m not so sure about WRs so I trust you on that one.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Howard and Shepard have no chance of being Patriots because I have been on them from the very beginning. Very sad indeed

      • Gerry says:

        No Kidding. BB never makes my picks.

        The NE-Shepard match has the most upside of any draft pick in 2016. [IMNHO]

  12. Todti says:

    The Brady suspension could habe one positive aspect, though. If Jimmy G plays a couple of decent games his trade value will rise quite a bit. It might be more likely now that the Patriots draft a QB to take over for him in 2017. If the Patriots get a future mid-round pick via trades this year and e.g. a high 2017 2nd round pick, next year’s draft will look pretty good. I could see the Beowns make a move like that because I think a quality outing by Jimmy G is more reassuring than any college prospect and the Browns’ brain trust might be one of the most rational right now (as crazy as that sounds).

    • steve earle says:

      Way to look on the bright side. Yea it’s a good scenario and it’s not only the Browns that could be looking given the state of the leagues QB shortage, Good ones I mean. Still being English, Irish, Scotch, Dutch I enjoy holding grudges.

    • Russell says:

      Good point any good experience Garoppolo gets increases his value. he is under contract until 2018, so if the Patriots can’t resign him in 2018- ? then his trade value goes up.
      Patriots will surly get a QB in this draft, look for a later round guy like Vander laan, to see actin in pre-season.

      • steve earle says:

        Crazy I know, but I still like Vernon Adams the kid from Ore. His ony short coming (pun intended) is his lack of ideal height.

  13. Russell says:

    Goodell is a legend in his own mind, and a man who does not know his limitations. He feels everything he does is for the better of the game, and to protect the “shield”. He openly lies to the fan base, “their is no new evidence in the case” yet the NFL did a study on ball air pressure during random games during the 2015 season compiling information, but alas their findings most not had supported their position, because no information has been released.
    It’s a sad day for the NFL to be represented by King Goodell, and his henchmen. The League owners are as much to blame, a spineless group, only looking out for their own team. It’s time Goodell was given the boot, and a quality person brought in to improve the leagues image.
    It’s no wonder Goodell wants games in China, a market he is yet to degrade. It’s to bad Tom Brady, is now being throw in the pen with the Greg Hardy’s of the world, thanks to the Goodell regime .

  14. steve earle says:

    My plans remain the same. This summer I’m going to Hampton Beach NH, find an air brush artist to paint a T shirt with Pat Patriot from behind captioned “Goodall Kiss My”, and put it on and put it on the internet. I encourage N.E. fans to do the same.

  15. ErnieAdamsLoveChild says:

    As a lawyer from Texas who happens to be a Patriots fan due to a proper upbringing…..

    I would like to second and applaud Mike’s paragraph that begins with “According to the letter of the law” and ending with “tiring and boring.” Many words have been spent on this nonsense… few have been more accurate.

    I’ve never thought anything could diminish my love for the NFL, the Patriots and Football. However, between all the serious concussion talk and all the preposterously illogical deflategate talk, the NFL has become exhausting and joyless.

    Go Pats. Can’t wait until the NFL stops recklessly destroying their goodwill.

    • steve earle says:

      I don’t know EALC doesn’t the law have anything to say about falsified evidence? How about any real evidence to begin with? Is the rule guilt by accusation from poor losers?
      I thought I heard once that any contract that violates law is not enforceable? Even if I’m wrong I’m still getting that T shirt.

  16. CH says:

    What about Sheldon Day (DT Notre Dame)? He seems to fit a need very nicely.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I have been asked about Day in the past and I am just not as high on him as others. He is short with short arms. I think he is maxed out physically and I think how he won in college does not translate well to the NFL. I don’t see any elite traits that tell me he can win consistently and I see a player other teams would target if he was on the field as anymore than a 3rd and long type rotational player.
      If you check out the top 150 board I believe he ended up in the early 100’s, so a 4th round pick for me.

  17. Ryan says:

    The results of the punishments have been backwards. Brady, having deliberately broken the rules despite a lack of concrete evidence, should’ve acknowledged that he was caught being a bad boy and sat out an amount of games, whether it be the original 4 or the 2 that Goodell offered later. The Pats should’ve been fined slightly for allowing the cheating to occur, even if there was nothing indicating that anyone besides the equipment managers were involved. Instead, they were hit with penalties harsher than those for the Bounty scandal in New Orleans. Even more ridiculously, the Falcons were docked only a fifth-round draft pick for pumping crowd noise into their stadium in the same year, after they’d been explicitly told in previous years not to do so. The Patriots were punished for being uncooperative repeat offenders, when in reality their crime was the NFL’s distaste for Belicheck’s skirt-the-rules style and an inability to produce evidence that would unquestionably incriminate themselves. Robert Kraft refused to fight the penalties because he trusted Goodell’s judgment, a position he said later that he regretted immensely. In this case, evidence was never properly used or required, simply requested to promote an illusion of fair process. Goodell’s not an idiot, either; he knows that the public is aware of his ridiculous handling of the situation and he just doesn’t care. He just needs to be right, whatever the cost.

    • steve earle says:

      Question, what rules did he break?

      • Ryan says:

        It’s pretty clear that he instructed staff members to deflate footballs, based on the kind of texts that were salvaged and the footage of an equipment manager entering the bathroom with the footballs. I think that his intent was for the equipment manager to deflate the footballs below the acceptable levels.

        Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that there is anywhere near enough evidence to convict Brady in any reasonable judicial proceeding. I’m just about 85% sure that he intended to have his game balls deflated below acceptable levels, based on the extremely circumstantial evidence.

        Would I have punished Brady? I might have fined him. But I would never issue any kind of suspension in the face of questionable evidence. Still, I think that he was punished for a crime he committed, so he should serve the sentence.

        • Big w says:

          That’s nice but SCIENCE says your wrong , NFL is wrong so what happens to facts when someone’s reputation and livelihood is on the line. That all just goes out the window.

        • Todti says:

          At Big W:
          Science doesn’t say the NFL is wrong. Science says there is a possible natural explanation for the deflated balls, but that doesn’t rule out that the Patriots/Brady/whoever did something to deliberately get the ball pressure below the legal value.

        • Freemanator says:

          Todti this has been done to death, and science says the balls behaved as expected if they’d been filled up to 12 psi, and then played with out in the cold.

          It’s not a possible explanation, but a well established natural law, that inputting the conditions of the locker room, and of the field, with the pressure in the measured balls after the half would show they had been filled to 12 psi beforehand.

          Even the investigation in the Wells Report from Exponent (them of many dubious scientific studies protecting big companies) could only find one ball significantly under-inflated if they assumed the ref used the pump that he told them he thought he didn’t use.

          The texts are taken out of context and separate timelines to create a narrative, when all they point to was that Brady liked his footballs at 12 psi and not higher.

        • steve earle says:

          Now where did that evidence come from, the NFL perhaps??? And does it establish that Brady told the equipment managers to deflate the balls to below the allowed minnimums? Or it that the wanted conclusion Goodell needed? I don’t think it did and having the balls put at the min in the clubhouse even knowing the cold outside would lower the pressure even lower may have pushed some envelope but by the written rules none were violated. Measurements of the PSI’s and losses were not what the NFL claimed. This was a blatent attempt by the commis and NFL to damage the NE franchise and Brady”s reputation. I’m noy buying anything that corrupt Goodell is pushing or the fixed report his hired henchman came up with.

        • Ryan says:

          Do you guys honestly believe that Brady is innocent of breaking the rules? As much as I love the Pats, I can’t bring myself to believe that.

        • tim says:

          Ryan – Are you Goodell’s press secretary? Please quote any salvaged text that shows or even implies that Brady instructed anyone to deflate footballs below the acceptable level. The facts presented to date say you are wrong and that no “crime” was committed.

        • Ryan says:

          Tim- with all due respect, I don’t think that Goodell’s press secretary would suggest that his punishments for both Brady and the Patriots are way out of line.

          I never said that there was enough evidence to convict Brady. Not once. I’m not even going to try to prove why I think he might have actually done it, because the evidence is circumstantial and shoddy.

          BUT, it’s my opinion that Brady instructed a guy to deflate footballs. And absence of definitive proof is NOT proof that he did not. In O.J. Simpson’s case, the criminal court did not find him guilty. Do you think Simpson is an innocent man?

          Thinking Brady did it doesn’t make me on Goodell’s side. Feel free to read the entirety of what I said, not just one piece. Thinking that Brady is guilty of conspiracy to deflate footballs doesn’t make me a Patriots hater. Thinking that Brady is completely innocent doesn’t make you a homer.

        • steve earle says:

          Even if Brady asked, told, commanded, the EM to set the pressure low ( no proof of any such thing) it is just as reasonable to assume it was to set it at the min allowed psi ( not a violation) as it is to assume he wanted it below the min. Given the false psi values Goodell leaked it is far more reasonable to take the view that the wrong doing was on Goodell’s part not Brady’s. You are free to believe whatever seems most logical to you and I know you are a very strong supporter of the Pats and hold nothing but respect for you I just believe differently. So I guess I won’t see you at Hampton Beach this summer getting a “Goodell kiss my” T shirt?

        • Big W says:

          Everyone is allowed an opinion but the facts are the facts and they say your wrong.

        • Big W says:

          Comparing Tom Brady case to O.j. Is moronic everyone is being polite to you about this but you don’t know what the hell you are talking about PV=nrt EVERY FUC–G DAY TRUST ME ON THAT ONE SO bs IS bS AND THIS ONE IS AS CLEAR AS CAN BE NO BALL DEFALATION HAPPEND.

        • Ryan says:

          I know exactly what PV=nRT is, Dubya. It’s a scientific law that can provide a plausible explanation for why the footballs were on the low end of the inflation scale. Scientific laws provide plausible explanations, they DO NOT prove someone innocent. Scientific laws cannot explain why the equipment manager took the game balls into a bathroom before the game started, and they can’t explain why Brady refused to surrender his phone and referred to the equipment manager as the Deflator. Just thought I’d remind you.

          Also, this case is as clear as can be that ball deflation did occur, and it’s also clear that weather could have caused it.

          Facts can’t prove me wrong because they can’t prove that no one deflated balls, they only prove that it’s plausible that the weather was the culprit.

          I just don’t get how you can be so sure that you’re right here when we’re missing so many facts. We’re very far away from a complete picture and I doubt we’ll ever get there, so stop pretending that one scientific study resolved the whole thing. It established a precedent that should lead to Brady’s suspension being lifted, but it can’t definitively prove him innocent.

        • Big W says:

          Facts can’t prove me wrong, what kind of statement is that? WOW !

      • Ryan says:

        You are great at taking things out of context. Who’s Goodell’s press secretary now?

        • Big W says:

          Your whole argument is like an Oliver Stone movie or a Donald Trump speech you said it. Sounds totally ridiculous, live with it. Like I said before you are entitled to your opinion your just not entitled to changing the facts. No conspiracy theory just Mike Kinsell and the NFl showing their spite and ignorance. You are just their target audience

        • Ryan says:

          Sorry to oppress you with logic, reason, and objectivity. Then again, I’m not sure I should apologize because it’s clear you haven’t read (or at least understood) most of what I wrote.

          You get one scientific argument and suddenly the whole issue is one-dimensional. As long as you can copy and paste PV=nRT (no need to even remember it or what the letters mean, lucky you!) and type in all caps “IDEAL GAS LAW,” you’re good to go. No amount of suspicious behavior, national consensus, or even the oh-so-deadly common sense can do so much as sway you, because you have one fact and that’s all that matters.

        • Big W says:

          What reason , facts or objectivity I think we are waiting for one fact . Did it ever strike that he might just be telling the truth. Tom has to my knowledge been the only person to testify under oath here never been caught in any other lie . But Roger on the other hand has been caught in numerous lies and you believe him and his Harry Potter tale. You must have been on the OJ jury

  18. Big W says:

    Sign d line Hardy and become the Rebels they say you are.

  19. Todti says:

    Two thoughts before I read your big board:

    1) Thank you for investing an incredible amount of time to enlighten and entertain us! It’s not only information, you’re also providing a place to debate football in a serious manner. I spend a huge chunk of my lunch breaks reading your stuff and I really, really enjoyed it. Thanks!

    2) I think you’re completely right on the Brady suspension. The ruling is accurate in confirming that the league moved within its leagal boundaries. Neither does it say the ruling was correct nor does it say the league’s legal boundaries are appropriate, but neither of that was the subject.
    Now I’d say the Patriots might start 2-2 or 3-1 (they’ve got enough time to preparate for the Cardinals and they play the Texans at home), and I still think the patriots go 11-5 at worst. And that doesn’t even account for The Wrath of Tom.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Good insight Todti and thank you for the kind words again.

      • steve earle says:

        I’d like to secong that thanks Mike. I have more fun here then anyplace on the web.

        • steve earle says:

          Second that is. Can’t spell or hit the right keys it seems.

        • Mike Gerken says:

          Thank you so much Steve,
          I love the people we have on here. You guys (and gals) have helped create a place that fans can come to and talk about football responsibly. It is nice to see all the well educated responses to the topics that have come up. Too many times, these type of forums can get overrun with agendas and mean spirited rhetoric, but this forum has stayed true to itself and it is because of all of you.
          Thank you guys for making the site great and allowing me to be apart of it.

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