Of all the elements of the Ted Wells report which cast Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a poor light, a series of text message exchanges between the pair of guys who got game balls where they needed to be and when are near the top of the list.
The messages, not all of which are able to be reprinted here on a family website, give a pretty strong suggestion that not only was Brady in on the deflation, but that he was signing autographs in exchange for special treatment.
The messages between Jim McNally [the officials locker room attendant] and John Jastremski [a Patriots equipment assistant] show a level of detail and planning that indicates this wasn’t a random, or one-time occurrence.
The first exchange was after an Oct. 17, 2014 game against the Jets when Brady complained about the pressure of the balls.
Jastremski wrote “Tom sucks. im going make that next ball a f—in balloon.”
McNally replied: “Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done…”
McNally, apparently not a fan of Brady’s (or at least his level of attention of air pressure) made several references to pumping the balls up to “watermleon” or “rugby” size, since Brady preferred softer ones for better control.
Prior to the next game, McNally wrote: “The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating.”
There was then a discussion of McNally receiving free shoes and gear, and prior to the Jan. 10 game against the Ravens, the two of them were in the equipment room with Brady when McNally “received two footballs autographed by Brady and also had Brady autograph a game-worn Patriots jersey that McNally previously had obtained.”
McNally later referred to himself as “the deflator,” and chided Jastreemski by saying “im not going to espn……..yet.”
Those exchanges make it hard to imagine Brady had no knowledge of what’s going on, which he’ll need to answer for later.