Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks about not noticing any differences in the footballs when his team played the New England Patriots. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens and Indianapolis Colts just can't seem to distance themselves from the New England Patriots' "Deflategate" scandal.
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, speaking on a San Diego radio show on Friday, said if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reduced Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension, it would upset Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and Colts owner Jim Irsay (and unnamed others in the AFC, too).
That led the Ravens to release a statement in which Bisciotti emphatically denied any attempt to influence Goodell's decisionmaking.
"I have not and will not put any pressure on the Commissioner or anyone representing the NFL office to take action in what everyone is calling 'Deflategate," Bisciotti said in the statement. "The story circulating that I have put pressure on Roger (Goodell) is 100% wrong. The reports are unfair to [New England Patriots owner] Robert Kraft, who is an honorable person, and to his franchise. Let's talk about football and the start of training camps. Fans and people like me want the issue resolved now."
The Colts and Ravens have been a part of this story from the beginning.
It was the Colts who brought the Patriots' indiscretion to the league's attention, and some reported that the Ravens -- who lost to the Patriots, 35-31 in an AFC divisional round playoff game -- had tipped off Indianapolis coaches about New England using underinflated footballs.
That time, Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisted his team did no such thing.
In more than six months since the Patriots used underinflated footballs in a 45-7 win over the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, there's been no definitive resolution (Brady appealed his suspension in June).