The 243-report on “Deflategate” came out Wednesday and stopped barely short of calling the Patriots star quarterback a cheater. It did call some of his claims “implausible” and left little doubt that he had a role in having footballs deflated before New England’s AFC Headline game against Indianapolis in January and probably in previous games.
Attorney Ted Wells said, in his report, the quarterback “was at least generally aware” of all the plans to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch. Wells said it was “more probable than not” that two Patriots employees — officials’ locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski — executed the plan.
For his trouble, McNally asked for expensive shoes and signed footballs, jerseys and cash. He brokered the deals over a series of salty text messages with Jastremski that portray Brady as a hard-to-please taskmaster.
For the biggest home game of the season, McNally came through, taking the footballs from the officials’ locker room into a bathroom before delivering them to the field, the report said.
The NFL announced Monday that Tom Brady would be suspended four games, the Patriots would be fined $1 million and the Patriots will forfeit a 2016 first-round draft pick along with a fourth-round draft pick in 2017.
Patriots second-year QB Jimmy Garoppolo in line to fill in during Tom Brady’s suspension for “Deflategate.”