Former NFL quarterback and football analyst Boomer Esaison believes Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman should be punished for remarks he made about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Shortly after the Seahawks arrived in Phoenix on Sunday to begin preparing for the Super Bowl, Sherman weighed in on the "Deflategate" controversy, saying he didn't think the Patriots would be penalized by the NFL for using underinflated balls in the AFC championship game.
"Will they be punished? Probably not," Sherman said during a news conference. "Not as long as Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft are still taking pictures at their respective homes. I think it was just at Kraft's house last week before the AFC championship, you know. Talk about conflict of interest."
Sherman was referring to a photo taken at Kraft's home showing the Patriots owner with Goodell before the start of the AFC title game between the Pats and the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18.
Esaison told SI.com he believes Sherman's comments warrant a "heavy-duty fine."
"Should the NFL fine Richard Sherman for attacking the commissioner and the integrity of the league?" Esaison asked. "If I were the commissioner, I would. You can't have a player, who's one of the best players at his position and who has an open microphone and will continue to have an open microphone all this week, questioning your authority and your integrity.
"Richard Sherman seems to forget that Roger Goodell also works for his owner, Paul Allen ... and has many times sat down with Paul Allen, privately, in a friendly situation.
"So Richard Sherman fired a shot across the bow of the commissioner. Now, it's going to be up to the commissioner and the NFL to act accordingly. I think a heavy-duty fine is in order. Let's see if the commissioner has the guts to levy it," Esiason said.
The NFL announced last week it was looking into whether the Patriots used underinflated balls in their 45-7 win over the Colts. The probe will not be completed until after the Super Bowl, the league said.