11:46am PT by Marisa Guthrie
NFL Analyst Cris Collinsworth on Deflategate: "I Don't Know that Anybody Recovers"
The ongoing saga of Deflategate will continue to unfold over the next four weeks leading up to NBC's Sunday Night Football opener between Tom Brady's New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, Sept. 10.
And NBC Sports analyst Cris Collinsworth sees no window for compromise between Brady and the NFL. The two sides are currently engaged in settlement talks in front of a federal judge, where Brady's lawyers are arguing that his four-game suspension should be wiped out.
"There were a lot of mistake made in that situation: the referees letting the balls out of the locker room, Tom Brady’s cellphone [being destroyed]. Where the compromise is, I don’t know," said Collinsworth, during the Sunday Night Football panel Thursday morning at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
"It’s going to come down to, Tom Brady cheated the game, either directly or indirectly, or he did not and the NFL is embarrassing and tainting the legacy of one of the greatest players we've ever seen. I don’t know that anybody recovers from this totally. If you’re going to tell me there’s a compromised position between those two, I can't figure it out."
If Brady's suspension is upheld, the first game he will plays will be the Pats' Oct. 18 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, which is also a SNF production.
Of course, the NFL has been beset with negative headlines over the last few years. But Al Michaels, NBC's play-by-play announcer, noted that the controversies have failed to ding the NFL brand.
"As much of a train wreck as some things can be, it almost creates more interest. I hate to say this. People keep asking, where's the tipping point? If there is one, I don't know where it is."