Seemingly everyone has an opinion on Tom Brady these days, and Heath Evans is no exception.
“I’m going to be honest with you,” the NFL Network analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “For all your listeners, yeah, I played for Bill (Belichick) for four years and with Tommy for four years, and it’s impossible to remove a family-atmosphere bias, so let me just get that out there. So that being said, when the Wells Report was released, I read probably about a third of it . . . and I’m thinking, ‘Man, this seems very one-sided and there just seems so much left out of it.’ Then I go back and read the whole stinking thing and I start formulating opinions about things that have been left out.”
After that, Evans, who played for the Patriots from 2005 to 2008, texted Brady.
“Tommy was like, ‘You know me well enough to know I’m not cheating this game,’” Evans recalled. “I have stood by him for the course of the thing. I think people that are willing to read now and really start tracking everything that’s been released – everything that the Patriots released, everything that the NFLPA has released – you’re starting to see a completely different side of more or less a witch hunt, and maybe a few guys in the league office that had some ill will directed toward the Patriots and leaked out false reports and started a landslide that was just lies and propaganda.
“If people really want to sit there and look through all the evidence . . . and look at the facts – not bullet-point broadcasting that the NFL Network and ESPN and FOX and other sources have done, but look at the facts – I’ve stood by the fact that Tom Brady is going to eventually walk away with no suspension. His name probably won’t ever be looked at the way it should because people are always just going to remember the bold headlines, but there’s no substance to this whatsoever.”
In case you were wondering, you didn’t misread earlier. Evans, 36, actually does work for NFL Network.
“People say, ‘Heath, you work for the NFL, you better watch it,’” Evans said. “No, I work for Jerry Jones, and I work for Daniel Snyder and I work for the Rooney family and I work for Robert Kraft and I work for Tom Benson. I don’t work for Roger Goodell and that league office. The owners own the network. If this was being done to the Green Bay Packers, I would have gotten around to saying all the same things I’ve said. If it was done to the Oakland Raiders, I’d be defending Jack Del Rio. It has nothing to do with loyalties. I challenge people to go read what’s out there and formulate your own opinion.”
Evans played for the Seahawks, Dolphins, Patriots and Saints before retiring in 2010. The NFL Network offered him a job after he went on air and shared some of his outspoken yet informed opinions about the lockout.
“I got my job by being factually correct, bold and opinionated,” Evans said. “Trent Dilfer told me something four years ago when I took the job fresh out of the NFL: ‘You want people to love you or hate you. No in between.’ I stand by what I say. . . . This is going to get messy real, real quick. Roger Goodell already said that it wasn’t an independent (report). Jeff Pash, who is the attorney for the NFL, edited his report before he it was released. How independent is that? That’s the stuff people don’t want to read because they just want to say, ‘Hey, we want the Patriots to be cheaters’ because they can’t wrap their minds around for the last 15 years, they’re just better than everybody. That’s just the truth. People love to hate on the best. I’m a Saints fan, I’m a Seahawks fan – I’m loyal to those teams as well. But the truth is the truth.”