Tom Brady may face league discipline after the Deflategate investigation has come to an end.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged in his brief statement on the matter that the league will consider “possible disciplinary action.” Goodell didn’t mention Brady or anyone else by name in that statement, but the investigation concluded “it is more probable than not” that Brady was generally aware that Patriots employees were taking air out of footballs to give Brady a competitive advantage.
Given that, it also seems more probable than not that Brady will be disciplined. Brady’s name is mentioned 378 times in the Deflategate report. By contrast, Bill Belichick’s name is mentioned 32 times. If some high-profile member of the Patriots organization is going to be in trouble over this, it’s Brady.
What kind of discipline is Brady facing? That’s impossible to say, given that there’s never been a rules violation like this in NFL history. The league might consider a fine to be severe enough, but a suspension can’t be ruled out.
Brady is an NFL icon, perhaps the NFL’s biggest and best star of his generation. He now may have a permanently tarnished image.