Remember #DeflateGate? Yeah, that thing that happened allllllllll the way back in January (which, in terms of the Internet, might as well be, like, 1982 at this point). The NFL finally just got around to releasing the findings of Ted Wells' investigation into it. And while the entire report is more than 240 pages long (we hope you've got a long lunch today!), we can summarize it for you in four words: Tom Brady is screwed!
OK. So maybe "screwed" isn't exactly the right word to use there. Brady's not going to get kicked out of the league or anything because of #DeflateGate. But Wells found that, while Brady was initially adamant about the fact that he did not break any rules during the Patriots' AFC Championship Game against the Colts, he actually knew more about #DeflateGate than he led us all to believe. In fact, the report concludes that Brady was in on #DeflateGate to some degree. He reportedly worked closely with Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally and Patriots equipment manager John Jastremski to tinker with the footballs prior to the game against the Colts.
"Based on the evidence, we also have concluded that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls," the report says.
How did Wells come to this conclusion? Well, there were a series of eyebrow-raising text messages exchanged between McNally and Jastremski in the report:
The report also points out that Brady exchanged texts with both Patriots employees and spoke with them by phone in the days after the #DeflateGate scandal started, even though he refused to turn his phone over to investigators:
So as a result of Wells' findings, the NFL is reportedly thinking about handing down some sort of punishment to Brady, McNally, and Jastremski:
It's worth noting that the report doesn't name Bill Belichick at all. It's also worth noting that the report found that the Patriots were accused of using practice balls during games as far back as 2004:
Stay tuned for more details about the Wells report, which you can find here. It's going to be a long spring for Brady.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft has issued a statement about the findings of Wells' report.
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[via New York Post]