Update 9:00 p.m.:
Patriots owner Bob Kraft on Tom Brady’s suspension:
Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.
We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world. We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report.
Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered.
Don Yee, Tom Brady’s agent, said in a statement, “The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever.” His full statement follows:
— CBSN (@CBSNLive) May 11, 2015
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended four games next season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in Deflategate, deemed “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL.”
The Patriots will lose a first round pick in 2016 and a fourth in 2017, and will be fined $1 million, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Jim McNally and John Jastremski, the Patriots employees implicated in the Wells Report, have been suspended indefinitely, with Jastremski barred from having any contact with footballs, the Globe‘s Ben Volin reports.
From NFL Vice Presdent of Player Engagement Troy Vincent’s letter to Brady:
With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge. Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.
Your actions as set forth in the report clearly constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence int he game of professional football. The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to everyone in our league, and requires unshakable commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules. Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question.
If Brady’s suspension stands, he will be eligible for return in Week 6—just in time to face the Indianapolis Colts, whose accusations of under-inflated game balls in last year’s AFC Championship Game gave way to Deflategate. In the meantime, Jimmy Garoppolo will face the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dallas Cowboys.
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