- Associated Press - Saturday, July 30, 2016

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas wishes Tom Brady had kept the pressure on in his “Deflategate” fight.

New England’s quarterback recently dropped his appeal and will serve a four-game suspension to begin this season for his alleged involvement in taking air out of footballs before the 2015 AFC Championship. Brady threatened to take his case to the Supreme Court before giving up.

“I was disappointed that he didn’t keep appealing, from a player’s standpoint,” Thomas said Saturday as the Browns got ready for their second practice of training camp, “because it kind of gives the commissioner a little bit more power that maybe was not necessarily already negotiated or settled.”

Thomas has been outspoken in the past about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of Brady’s situation. Last year, Thomas accused Goodell of “witch hunts” against players.

One of eight players in history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first nine seasons, Thomas believes Brady finally relented because there was no guarantee he’d win.

“I think that everyone just got kind of sick of appealing that,” Thomas said. “I guess maybe the NFLPA might sue on his behalf down the line to try to balance the commissioner’s powers, so I’m not sure.”

After serving his suspension, Brady is eligible to return to the field on Oct. 9, when the Browns host the Patriots.

“I was hoping he would appeal for like one game,” Thomas joked. “So he would be suspended Week 5 and we didn’t have to see him.”


Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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