Patriots News: Troy Aikman Says New England Should Be Punished More Than Saints

The New England Patriots have come under fire this week after it was discovered that they used slightly deflated footballs in the first half of the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The NFL is still investigating the incident, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady both denied any involvement or knowledge of the footballs being under-inflated in separate press conferences on Thursday.

No penalty has been handed down yet, but Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman says the NFL should punish the Pats more for "Deflategate" than it penalized the New Orleans Saints for Bountygate.

"This whole comment by Roger Goodell based on the Saints when Sean Payton got suspended for the year, and he says 'ignorance is no excuse,' that's going to come back to haunt him again," Aikman said "That haunted him during the whole Ray Ricesituation with he, himself, and now it's going to haunt Roger Goodell in terms of what the punishment is for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. If ignorance is no excuse, and it wasn't for Sean Payton."

"Now twice, under Bill Belichick and possibly a third time, they've cheated and given themselves an advantage," Aikman said. "To me, the punishment for the Patriots and/or Bill Belichick has to be more severe than what the punishment was for the New Orleans Saints."

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season after a league investigation uncovered a bounty system among his team's defensive players conducted by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Several players were also suspended.

The Patriots will play the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.

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