<
>

Former Jets kicker Jay Feely tells Berman about 2009 K-ball incident

Free-agent kicker Jay Feely attended Monday's settlement conference in Tom Brady's Deflategate case in his capacity as a member of the NFL Players Association's executive committee.

What's interesting is what he said when he and Brady met with the judge.

In the NFLPA's initial court filing July 31 in Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension, the union indicated that no player had ever been investigated or disciplined for violating the NFL's Competitive Integrity Policy. The brief said only teams and team personnel had been disciplined under the policy, and it cited an example from 2009.

That year, the NFL suspended a member of the New York Jets equipment staff after he "attempted to use unapproved equipment to prep the K balls prior to" a Jets game against the New England Patriots.

The union's brief goes on to say that while the NFL interpreted the equipment employee's action as an attempt to gain a competitive advantage, the Jets' kicker, "the player who could have benefited from the alleged 'attempt to gain a competitive advantage' was not investigated, let alone disciplined."

The Jets' kicker that season? Feely.

The incident was not mentioned in open court Monday, but later that day, Feely told "The Doug Gottlieb Show" on CBS Sport Radio that he did talk to U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman about the situation.

"We talked about the similarities in that case and the differences in the way the NFL responded," Feely said. "I didn't get in trouble. I had no culpability in that case."

In the 2009 case, according to Feely, a Jets equipment manager put an extra pad on the brush he was using to prepare the kicking balls before the game. The pad was meant to protect his fingers. Feely said equipment managers were given 20 minutes before the game to prepare the kicking balls, and both teams did so in the same room and were supervised by an NFL official.

"The reaction of the NFL was much different than they reacted to Tom, even though the circumstances were very similar," Feely said, adding that he thought the league's reaction to Brady's situation could have something to do with the Patriots' history, including accusations of videotaping opponents in the 2007 "Spygate" incident.

"If something even had happened, it would have been a speeding ticket, and [the league] reacted like it was a homicide," Feely said.

Feely, who said he doesn't believe Brady did anything wrong or had anything to do with the deflated footballs, attended Monday's hearing at the request of Berman, who asked Feely and Giants co-owner John Mara to come to court and try to help work out a settlement between Brady and the NFL.

That settlement didn't happen, and Berman is set to rule on the case this week.

The Patriots open the season Sept. 10 against the Steelers.