John Mara is not buying into the conspiracy theory.
While many are speculating that the Patriots' decision not to appeal their punishment in Deflategate will be tied directly to commissioner Roger Goodell easing the discipline against quarterback Tom Brady on appeal, the Giants' president and CEO said he doubts there is any quid pro quo.
"I do not believe there is any deal between the League and the Patriots regarding Brady's status,'' Mara told Newsday via email on Wednesday evening.
Mara was returning from the league meetings in San Francisco which were headlined by Patriots owner Robert Kraft's decision not to appeal or legally challenge the $1 million fine and loss of two draft picks that the NFL docked his team. Mara said he spoke with Kraft after that announcement, but preferred to keep that conversation private.
Brady and the NLFPA are appealing the four-game suspension he was given for his role in the use of underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game in January. Goodell is expected to hear that appeal, as is his right under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, although the union is pushing for an outside arbitrator.
Some have compared Kraft's decision this week to something Mara's father, the late Giants owner Wellington Mara, might have done. Wellington Mara often put NFL interests ahead of those of his own team.
"Robert has always put the League first and I'm sure that was a big part of his decision not to appeal and drag this out any further,'' Mara said of Kraft's announcement. "I have a lot of respect for Robert Kraft and I believe he did the right thing here.''