Tom Brady Was “Aware” Footballs Were Deflated, Says NFL Report
Tom Brady was likely “aware of the inappropriate activities” involving the deflated footballs from last season, according to a new bombshell report released on Wednesday by the NFL. In addition to the New England Patriots quarterback, the investigation led by Ted Wells concluded, “It was more than probable” that two Patriots staffers, locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski, had made a “deliberate effort to release air” from the game balls.
Deflategate, as it’s become known, was sparked by complaints by the Indianapolis Colts after losing to the Patriots on January 18. The Colts claimed their opponent’s footballs were under-inflated, giving the Patriots an unfair advantage since deflated footballs are easier to grip and catch. The NFL later confirmed that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots during that game were below the allowed limit. At the time, Brady denied altering the air pressure of the balls or having any knowledge of tampering. “When I pick those footballs out, at that point, you know, to me, they’re perfect,” Brady had said of the 12 footballs.
Following the release of the findings, Patriots owner Robert Kraft fired back at the Wells Report, saying he “disappointed in its findings.” And while Kraft noted he would “accept the findings of the report and take the appropriate actions based on those,” he strongly added that he felt there was no “hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game.”
There’s talk now that the NFL is considering disciplining Brady, McNally and Jastremski for their “probable” involvement in deflategate.