Report: NFL under pressure to treat Peyton Manning like Tom Brady
Whether Peyton Manning is actually guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs or not, the timing is terrible for the NFL.
Why? Because we are not all that removed from the Deflategate saga, and the NFL is still fighting in court to have Tom Brady’s four-game suspension enforced. Brady and Manning have been the faces of the NFL for more than a decade, and now the league has to investigate face No. 2.
According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, the NFL is already feeling pressure to place Manning under the microscope the same way it did with Brady last offseason. As Cole notes, the NFL equated Brady’s alleged awareness of deflating footballs to a PED violation.
“Because of that, when you have an accusation of actual PED use with Manning, this cannot be ignored,” Cole said Monday. “In other words, the NFL is going to have to have a very serious investigation or they’re going to see the wrath of people from around the league who are saying, ‘If you did this to Brady, why aren’t you doing it to Manning?'”
There are, of course, plenty of differences between Deflategate and the allegations against Manning. For starters, Deflategate was more of an internal issue — at least at first. The Colts turned the Patriots in after intercepting a pass, and the league proceeded to measure the air pressure of footballs and had that information readily available all along. Why they still managed to botch the entire investigation is anyone’s guess.
In Manning’s case, a person not associated with the NFL is the one making the allegations, and that person recanted his statements. However, Manning has admitted that his wife had a prescription from the anti-aging clinic in question.
Simply put, Brady was not given the benefit of the doubt. It was obvious that the Ted Wells investigation was designed to work backwards from a predetermined conclusion. Will Manning, who appeared on the verge of tears while defending himself in this interview, be treated the same way? There are plenty of people in Foxboro who are expecting it.