Tom Brady spent the entire 2015 offseason in the headlines while dealing with a potential four-game suspension for his involvement in the DeflateGate scandal, so he knows what it's like to be accused of cheating. On Monday morning, Brady said in his weekly appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan with Minihanehe that he feels bad for Peyton Manning who was linked to human growth hormone (HGH) in a report on Saturday.
Manning has lashed out at the allegations and is even considering a defamation lawsuit against Al Jazeera, the publisher of the report. Brady's suspension was overturned before the 2015 season began, and while the DeflateGate case isn't officially through, it's on the back burner for now while the Patriots are in the hunt for another trip to the Super Bowl.
"Peyton, I would consider him a good friend," Brady told WEEI. "You hate to see your good friends go through anything like that. He's been a great player for this league, for his teams, for his organizations. He's been one of the best players to ever play the game. Nobody has more respect for Peyton than I do, and everything that he's accomplished."
While Brady never said anything about the HGH allegations or his thoughts on Manning's response, he certainly spoke glowingly about the 14-time Pro Bowler.
"I fully support Peyton. My friendship with him over the years, he's a guy that I can always count on, and has been someone that's always been so supportive of me. We'll have lifelong friendships. Truthfully I don't put much into anything. I have a lot of friends, I have a lot of support, and he is the same. I'm a big fan and supporter of his. That's how I really feel about everything."
Brady and Manning have often been pitted against each other as rivals for most of their NFL careers. They have met 16 times in their decorated careers and there's even a Wikipedia page for the Brady-Manning rivalry.
In four postseason meetings, Brady and Manning each won two games, but it's Brady with the all-time lead at 11-5, including a 43-21 win over the Denver Broncos in the last duel between the two future Hall of Famers.