With the 2015 season days away and the latest round of the Deflategate saga behind us, actual football was finally the focus. That lasted a weekend. Because on Monday, an ESPN report alleges that the now eight-year-old Spygate scandal spanned at least 40 games and lasted from 2000-2007. What's more: the NFL never fully investigated all the accusations against the Patriots.

In fact, in the years after the Patriots defeated the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI -- a game in which the upstart Pats were heavy underdogs against "The Greatest Show on Turf" -- then-Rams coach Mike Martz told ESPN he was "deeply suspicious of whether the Patriots had videotaped the walk-through or his team's practices before the Super Bowl."

According to the report, after the Spygate scandal broke in 2007, Martz returned a call from Commissioner Roger Goodell and during a five-minute conversation Goodell sounded "panicked" about the possibility of a wide-ranging investigation to the Patriots' videotaping habits. Martz said the commissioner asked him to write a statement saying that he was satisfied with the NFL's Spygate investigation, had no reason to believe the Patriots cheated, and asking everyone to move on.

"He told me, 'The league doesn't need this. We're asking you to come out with a couple lines exonerating us and saying we did our due diligence,'" Martz told ESPN in July. Martz added that Goodell told him, "If it ever got to an investigation, it would be terrible for the league."

Still, despite having more questions, Martz agreed that a congressional investigation "could kill the league," and he wrote a statement that night that he was "very confident there was no impropriety" and that it was "time to put this behind us."

Not surprisingly, Martz remains skeptical. At the time, he says Goodell "told me to take him at his word. ... It was hard to swallow because I always felt something happened but I didn't know what it was and I couldn't prove it anyway. Even to this day, I think something happened."

Roger Goodell urged Mike Martz to move on from Spygate, according to a report. (USATSI)
Roger Goodell urged Mike Martz to move on from Spygate, according to a report. (USATSI)