The investigation into “DeflateGate” has semi-concluded with the release of the Ted Wells report that was submitted to Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, May 6th.
The report focused on the use of deflated balls during the 2015 AFC Championship game featuring the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. The reports reads; “We have concluded that it is more probable than not that Jim McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee. Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
It appears as though the devious behavior may be limited to the QB in question as the report goes on: “We do not believe that the evidence establishes that any other Patriots personnel participated in or had knowledge of the violation of the Playing Rules or the deliberate effort to circumvent the rules described in this Report. In particular, we do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated.”
Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee issues his own response to the report, something that was obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. “What does it say about the league office’s protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration. The league is a significant client of the investigators’ law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm’s website.”
The really fun part of all this is there is a lot of alluding to the amount of knowledge that Tom Brady had, but there is no concrete evidence that he had an direct involvement. More on this story as it unfolds.