It hasn't exactly been a great week for the New England Patriots.
It began with the publication of the Wells Report that ultimately found the franchise guilty of deflating footballs during the AFC Championship game. Then came the suspension for Tom Brady himself and a $1 million fine for the team. Meanwhile, yesterday saw the Pats ridiculed for their own attempts to explain the "deflator" situation.
And now, in the age of post-Wells Report enlightenment, one NFL veteran has thrown new allegations at the franchise. This time relating to a crucial game back in 2008.
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Karlos Dansby, an 11 year league veteran currently plying his trade as a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, has suggested that the Patriots somehow interfered with his, and teammates, coach-to-headset communication systems when he visited Foxboro with the Cardinals in Week 16 of the 2008 campaign - a game that New England had to win in order to keep their season alive.
"My headset was working fine, every game,” Dansby said on NBC Sports Radio. “Until the very last game of the year. We get in Foxboro, they couldn’t get my headset fixed, for nothing in the world.”
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"I didn’t have not one problem until I went into Foxboro...You can ask anybody on that team that year. We didn’t have no problems with my headset until I got to Foxboro."
"They was trying to fix it, they couldn’t get it fixed. So we had to give hand signals, and we were dead in the water. They ran when they wanted to run, they threw it when they wanted to throw.”
The December game ended in a 47-7 rout for the Patriots but was played in blizzard conditions, a potential reason for any malfunction in the headset equipment that had only been brought into the league that season.
Dansby, though, clearly believes there was foul play from the Patriots.
"C'mon, man. C'mon...It's not a secret. They (the Patriots) gotta do what they gotta do to win, man. They donna do what they gotta do to win. It's just how they operate."
The fact that Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart also complained of issues with his own headset during the game, while opposite number Matt Cassel threw for over 340 yards, could lead some to back the idea that New England ensured they would get the upper hand on the day.
The new allegations, though, would certainly take some proving considering the game took place almost seven years ago. Add to that the fact that, under NFL rules, when one team's headsets malfunction the other side is supposed to play without theirs, and Dansby's theory suddenly doesn't look so water tight.
Regardless of whether Bill Belichick and the Patriots were involved in something like this, the mere fact the franchise has two black marks against their name in Spygate and Deflategate means that allegations such as Dansby's will continue to surface. And they are becoming harder and harder to throw out.
NFL fans: Do you believe the Patriots have consistently cheated, or are people taking advantage of the current situation? Have your say in the comments section below...
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