Shortly after the Seattle Seahawks arrived in Phoenix on Sunday to begin their Super Bowl preparations, cornerback Richard Sherman weighed in on the issue, saying the NFL probably won't penalize the Patriots for using underinflated balls during their AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
"Will they be punished? Probably not," Sherman said. "Not as long as [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell and [Patriots owner] 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 Championship game on Jan. 18.
Sherman's comments come a day after Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said the team followed "every rule to the letter" in how it prepared its footballs for the game. The NFL announced Friday that its investigation of the matter would probably not be concluded until after the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.
“At no time was there any intent whatsoever to compromise the integrity of the game or to try to gain an advantage,” Belichick said. “We try to do everything right. We try to err on the side of caution.”