Seven weeks ago today, investigator Ted Wells said that the #DeflateGate investigation won’t be completed for at least several more weeks. Several weeks ago, it became obvious that the Falcons are guilty of using artificial crowd noise in 2013 and 2014, and that Browns G.M. Ray Farmer sent text messages during games to the sideline, in violation of the NFL’s Electronic Communications Policy.
“All pending,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT on Monday via email regarding the three situations.
It’ll be interesting to see how long they remain pending. The annual meetings begin this weekend in Arizona. If the outcomes for these three game-integrity investigations land in Friday afternoon’s bad-news dump, they’ll nevertheless be a major topic in Phoenix. If the situations are resolved on the following Friday afternoon bad-news dump, it’ll seem more than a little conspicuous or convenient that the decisions were held until after the media was swarming around the collection of owners, coaches, and General Managers.
Maybe it’ll happen beyond the end of March. If so, it can’t happen before the end of April, if one or more of the teams will be losing draft picks.
The Patriots may still be exonerated. With draft picks presumably in play for a finding that there was deliberate tampering, it makes sense for the investigation to be closed before the draft begins on April 30.