No decisions have been made on Tom Brady, yet


As noted here a few days ago, a suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady seems to be inevitable. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News reported Friday evening that it’s not “if” but “when” — and ultimately “how many games.”

A Friday PFT poll question resulted in more than 27,000 responses, with more than 43 percent saying Brady should be banned for more than four games. If the decision to release the Wells report resulted not from a desire to be transparent but from a temptation to test the waters, that sentiment could be bad news for Brady.

Ultimately, the news will be bad; it’s not yet known how bad it will be. Although a league source insisted in the wake of Myers’ report that no decisions have been made regarding Brady (which actually feeds into the notion that the NFL is taking its time to gauge public opinion before pulling the trigger), how can Brady not be suspended?

Players are suspended for far less. Smoking marijuana results, eventually, in a four-game suspension. If a player continues to choose marijuana over football, he eventually is banished for at least a full year. For Browns receiver Josh Gordon, a few drinks on a flight to Las Vegas was the straw that broke the camel’s back on a one-year suspension that followed a 10-game suspension in 2014 for marijuana use.

When the Patriots host the Steelers to start the season, running back LeGarrettte Blount won’t play for New England because he had marijuana in his possession away from the workplace. How could the league justify suspending Blount for the game based on something completely unrelated to the game and not suspend Brady at least for the opener in the aftermath of an exhaustive 243-page report that concluded enough evidence exists to meet the NFL’s minimum standard for concluding that a violation of the playing rules occurred?

The personal-conduct policy, which is driven not by the integrity of the game of football but by P.R. considerations that have prompted the NFL to supplement the criminal justice system with tangible employment consequences, routinely results in suspensions of players who have never done anything that would amount to cheating. (Or, more accurately, they’ve never been caught doing anything that would amount to cheating.)

In the NFL, the most common punishment for cheating occurs when a player tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The first offense triggers a four-game suspension. That’s why Brady’s baseline punishment probably should be four games, for the violation itself.

Things get more interesting when considering the consequences for Brady’s refusal to fully cooperate with the investigation. He chose to not surrender his phone, which automatically (and separately) constitutes conduct detrimental to the league. Assuming that whoever made that decision has a basic degree of common sense, it’s fair to assume that the path of non-cooperation and conduct detrimental to the league was deemed to be better than the path of surrendering the phone and having evidence discovered that would make the underlying violation more clear.

Per a league source, phones routinely were surrendered by many league employees (including the highest of the high-level league employees) when former FBI director Robert Mueller investigated whether someone at 345 Park Avenue had seen the Ray Rice elevator video before TMZ released it in September. No one refused to surrender their phones.

In Brady’s case, the same protections would have been provided. A third-party performs the imaging and data collection based on narrowly-defined search terms and recipient information. With Brady, an offer was made to let Brady’s camp perform the search itself. He still declined.

At a minimum, that entitles the NFL to infer that the contents of the phone were not helpful to Brady. It also could allow the NFL to tell Brady that he won’t play until he complies with the request.

That would be an extremely aggressive position for the NFL to take, but it would be the best way to ensure that the precedent for all future investigations is as clear as it can be. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti admitted in the aftermath of the Rice debacle that the team or the league should have demanded that the video be surrendered, with the “or else” being that Rice won’t play until it is. The same position the Ravens or the NFL should have taken as to Rice could be taken as to Brady.

Does that equate domestic violence with taking some air out of a football? No. But domestic violence doesn’t amount to cheating at the game of football. If the NFL is willing to take such strong positions regarding issues that have no connection whatsoever to the integrity of the playing of the game of football, what should the NFL be willing to do when it comes to protecting the integrity of the game?

It’s too late to say “why is air pressure a big deal?” The NFL has made it a big deal, via the investigation, the lengthy report, and the likely seven-figure payment that Ted Wells and his firm will receive for their efforts. Organizations don’t go to such lengths to find wrongdoing only to do nothing when the wrongdoing has determined to happen. Otherwise, the organization looks foolish for wasting so much time and money to prove something that ultimately was of no consequence.

So regardless of whether the decision has been made, the only decision that makes sense would be a suspension of Tom Brady. Some would say that will be the first thing about any of this ordeal that actually makes much sense at all.

225 responses to “No decisions have been made on Tom Brady, yet

  1. 8 games sounds fair.
    Sucks when your favorite player becomes nationally defamed, doesn’t it?

  2. I’m a Pats fan, and before reading this I thought it was ridiculous to suspend Brady. However, your Josh Gordon argument may have changed my mind, but that’s if they can get Tom to say that he 100% had no clue that the balls were under inflated, and that’s impossible without having his phone I guess.

  3. Lawyer Florio, might Tom Brady have a “right to privacy” case over not turning in his phone, should he decide to pursue legal action? That would be an unlikely option, I admit.

  4. “With Brady, an offer was made to let Brady’s camp perform the search itself. He still declined.

    At a minimum, that entitles the NFL to infer that the contents of the phone were not helpful to Brady.”


    IMO Integrity of the game demands a full year suspension, based upon the Sean Payton precedent.

    It’s been clear for some time that Belichick is the smartest coach the game has ever seen, and is very creative at getting an edge. Maybe he knew about this, maybe not, but he has created a culture of getting an edge within the rules – and and also outside of the rules – see Spygate.

    Above everything, America counts on the integrity of the game. This is not point-shaving, but an intentional attempt to break the rules. The Pats may have also fixed their fumbling problem with this same method – lower inflation makes the ball easier to hold. And throw. And catch.

    Integrity of the game was harmed. The player involved failed to fully cooperate, as did the Patriots by not bringing the deflator back for a second interview. Throw the book at them.

    I say suspend Brady for a full season. Four games or eight games is not enough. The message must be clear that the integrity of the game cannot be harmed.

    And take away a draft pick for the Pats failure to fully cooperate, notwithstanding Kraft’s assertion that they would.

  5. Should get the same treatment that Pet Rose got from baseball. Bared from football for life. Football is so fixed what a fake 😪

  6. I have to agree with the idea that Brady should be suspended until he surrenders his phone just like everyone else in recent NFL investigations.

    Doing so would prove once and for all Brady’s guilt or innocence and would provide a solid baseline for a suspension provided the phone hasn’t already been tampered with.

    If Brady still refuses to surrender his phone he should be treated extremely harshly. A 1 year suspension and heavy fine would be appropriate.

  7. From the media :

    1. We believe Ted Wells to be infallible

    2. We believe that Ted Wells was not influenced by the fact that Goodell hired him (attorney / client relationship) and paid him a king’s ransom.

    3. We believe that Goodell’s previous incompetence played no role in the concoction of the scheme. We don’t believe that any highly paid media consultants told Goodell that the best way to erase his previous failures was to take down the Patriots.

    4. We have no interest in knowing what was omitted from the report.

    4. We support playing AFC Championship Games with non regulation balls in order to run a sting operation

    5. We deserve Pulitzer Prices

  8. The only reason that air pressure is such a big deal in that it because it’s the Patriots. I’m sure every team has it’s little quirks but the NFL is trying to slow down the Patriots.

  9. Where was the 243 page report when the Chargers placed a sticky substance on their towels in 2012?

    Where was the 243 page report when the Vikings and Panthers were both caught on tape tampering with the footballs last season?

  10. Not a Patriot fan but a Brady fan. I have 2 boys who play high level sports and unfortunately an example has to be made regardless how ridiculous this is. These players like it or not are role models. If Brady would have come clean and said he did it I would say no suspension but he did not do that!

    Pete Rose was banned for a lifetime betting on his team to win. The Brady ban should be one year without pay.

    The reputation of the NFL is at stake with the “botched” call in the playoffs against Detroit (not a Lions Fan) makes you wonder if the game or ref was paid off?

    Goodell has made the NFL very profitable for the owners but this may be the turning point for this to become WWF!
    Prove that you don’t favor what is perceived as a favorite with Kraft.

  11. Ahh, the New England FAILtriots!

    Just another franchise that has less rings (all tainted) than us!

    We have 5 legit rings!

    Not tainted rings!

    Or no rings!

    The 49ers will continue their dynasty!

    No worse than 13-3 this year and a SB Championship!

    All at home field!

    Then comes a minimum of 5 more rings in the next 8-10 years!

    I can feel the dominance already!

    We are God’s Team!

    Colin Kaepernick is God’s Quarterback!

    Tom “Cheater” Brady belongs in jail!

    So does Belecheat!


  12. How about a one game suspension for deflating and a four game suspension for lying/ not cooperating… Spell it out for future offenders that T-H-E C-O-V-E-R U-P I-S
    W-O-R-S-E T-H-A-N T-H-E C-R-I-M-E

  13. Funny how patriot fans and ex players say Bill Belichick runs that organization from top to bottom and knows everything that goes on until something like this happens then he has no clue.

  14. “It’s too late to say “why is air pressure a big deal?” The NFL has made it a big deal…”

    Brady made it a big deal when he cheated and had the boot balls altered.

  15. The rule that Brady & Pats personnel allegedly violated is punishable up to a $25K fine per NFL rules. The NFL has wasted an embarrassing amount of time and money on this matter. If they have the goods on them, punish them and move on.

  16. I would agree that he should remain suspended until he surrenders his phone. Suspend him 4 games (guaranteed) for his knowledge that the balls were being tampered with after the officials had approved them and then as long as it takes to turn over the phone. Even offer him full immunity for any findings related to tampering with the balls (but not for any other illegal actions that may be uncovered). “You will turn over the phone and the results will be made public, but you will not face additional discipline related to the series of events for which you have already been suspended.”

  17. Brady is to nice a kid however when he accepts Lombardi trophy next February I would love to see him tell Goddell to shove it.

  18. a “first offense” for marijuana doesnt trigger a four game suspension.. its only after they have tested positive they get put into the substance program that a positive test triggers a suspension.

  19. they don’t have much on brady, but i am sure they will find a way to suspend him

  20. The issue is not specifically what happened to the balls, it’s about the possibility of the NFL turning into pro wrestling, where there is no expectation of fair officiating.

    In short, the lost of credibility will be tragic and nothing should keep fans from thinking their team has a chance to win. What Brady threatens that whole concept. He has thumbed his nose at anyone who suggests he or his repeat offending team, can be held to reasonable standards to protect league integrity.

    That puts Goodell on a tightrope without a net. The guilt of the NFL championship team for cheating, hurts the shield. Heavy punishment is an indictment of the league, at the same time, if protection of the shield is a priority, you must treat it very seriously, in light of the league’s own commissioned investigation.

    This is new territory and should bring a severe punishment for Brady(especially after not cooperating) and the organization, or the NFL takes a serious hit.

  21. Sean Payton was banned for a year for collusion of allowing payment for injuries for opposing players. Not only do I think that Brady should be suspended for an entire year but I think that Bill Belichek should also be suspended for a year; this is his second offense that he has been in the middle of that affects the integrity of the game. Bob Kraft should receive a fine for not having oversight of his team; or for looking the other way while it was occurring and some sort of draft picks should be taken away.

  22. How can the league suspend a player because a report says he was “probably aware”, yet we have have film of players in a Vikings vs Panthers game doctoring the footballs and no one gets suspended? I have a simple answer, the league office is pro New York Jets and just have it out for the Patriots.

  23. One year suspension. The integrity of the NFL and NFL brand needs to be respected. Tom Brady has shown total disrespect to the league and its players.

  24. I feel very confident that an appeal would overturn that decision based on lack of evidence

  25. In my opinion, suspend him for the entire 2015 season if he chooses to maintain his “innocence.” No more wiggle room. Roger Goodell needs to show no mercy on Brady for cheating the game, lying to the NFL, orchestrating the cover-up, and not cooperating with the NFL. At some point Brady has to say to himself, enough is enough and come clean. It’s time for Tom to set his sockpuppets down…come out and admit he lied to us all about his role in deflating those footballs. Tom Brady’s has to come out and own it or (in my opinion) he needs to go away for the entire season.

  26. A long time ago I used to hate Tom Brady. Then I gave in and thought, man I guess I respect him. That has all gone away. Far away. I don’t trust him, cheating prick.

  27. I am a Redskins fan but this is way overblown. Quit putting this in the same breath as beating up women and failing drug’s not . If they have definite proof treat it like when pitchers get caught greasing balls. Since the game is done maybe 1 game suspension or the fact other members the staff was involved a lose a mid round draft pick. To think this takes anything away from Toms legacy is completely stupid and overblown just ask the Legion of Boom who he completely took apart with totally legal footballs. A real football fan would want all this overblown stupidity to stop.

  28. Frankly, the NFL and Goodell have created a mess by investigating an issue that should have required a notification and warning regarding game ball preparation and protocol. Whether their actions represented a sting of sorts can be debated but the damage has already been done. Brady was thrown under the rug in the court of public opinion and instead of admitting to some what amounts to gamesmanship, he was lawyered and answered questions as though he was being accused in a court of law which of course he wasn’t. There is no burden of proof in the NFL, it’s what they think. Brady will probably be suspended but please explain to me how that benefits the game, the issue should never have been raised. Football will continue and the Pats will still be elite and this will contribute to the sullied reputation of the organization. Just like Spy gate, this would never have happened if the NFL managed its game appropriately. All very sad!!

  29. At this point it really does not matter if there is a suspension at all. Brady has dropped into Barry Bonds territory as far as tarnished reputation. Did anyone change their opinion on Bonds due to his obstruction conviction being overturned? Pretty sure nobody did.

    Same thing with Brady, it won’t matter what or even if on punishment. The damage is done and the reputation is never coming back. From G.O.A.T to just plain goat.

  30. Mike another great article laying out the capture mine and others thoughts on punishments for less to other players I’m of the belief that it should be at least eight (8) games and now it should be for one lying and withholding evidence a suspension until the phone evidence is turned over then a suspension to follow on what he is hiding. This is extremely bad for the integrity of the game. I once was a great Brady fan and respected the Pats as the best and greatest franchise in the league, no more after all that has happened and Kraft’s denial and rant against the investigation. This makes me not to want to be a part of the league and I hope that the commish takes steps to fix. Getting ready to cancel Sunday Ticket if its not taken care of. I’m a Ravens fan and it would be nice to see Brady take care of business against Pittsburg, but the right thing must be done

  31. Definition of arbitrary and capricious
    Vikings/ Panthers caught: warning letter
    Chargers caught: $20k fine
    Patriots not caught but found more probable than not by the NFL’s concussion lawyers: SUSPENSION
    Farce doesn’t turn in his cell phone related to an investigation of him texting inappropriate pictures and messages: $50k fine
    Brady didn’t turn in his cell phone related to psi levels in a ball: SUSPENSION

    There you have it folks. It’s more probable than not the over reaction is because it’s the patriots. It’s also more probable than not the NFL and the nfl media cares more about psi levels than sexual harassment in the workplace.

  32. So the inmates are running the asylum?

    Public opinion will decide?

    Fire Gooddell the NFL has gone to hell.

  33. So the league disputes a report that said a decision has already been made as to punishment.
    Where were they in the first days when Mort’s report of 11 Patriot footballs being a full 2 PSI under inflated (David Gardi)?
    That was circulated everywhere as fact and set off the hysteria.
    They couldn’t be bothered to correct that?
    Or what about the one that the Colts footballs stayed the same when measured at halftime when 1 of the 2 gauges used measured 3 of the Colts footballs below acceptable PSI?
    Or that they only bothered to measure 4 of the Colts footballs?
    Seems to me the NFL already knows the reaction they want and expect from the wider NFL audience.

  34. Really good article. And that point can’t be stressed enough: Domestic violence is absolutely terrible, but in the context of the NFL, it doesn’t illegally undermine or influence the outcome of a football game.

  35. I think the refusal to cooperate, the statements made last season about him playing til he’s 65 or whatever, and the refusal to admit what everyone else can already see, is the result of a severe god-complex.

    Brady needs to be brought down a couple pegs.

  36. Brady should no doubt be suspended,period.I would have had a lot more respect for him if he would have admitted to it,apologized and moved on.He has only made it worse for himself by denying and lying.What kind of an example is he setting for our young boys ?? BTW,for you Pat’s fans: More probable than not meets the NFL standard of proof.

  37. Reading all of this damning evidence, there’s really no way to defend Brady anymore.

    Cept if you’re Bruschi. Though I’m not sure if he’ll able to talk, his mouth is full already. Perhaps he’ll have a minute to get off of his knees and wipe off his face, to spew more Patriot Way dogma.

  38. The rulebook clearly says if a team has been caught messing with the balls after they have been inspected by refs its a 25k fine. .. Make it 250k if you want hit Brady for not fully cooperating.. why are we talking about suspending him for games here? .. Brady and his offense played a better second half in AFC Championship game with properly inflated footballs and moved the ball pretty much at will vs the best defense in football in the Super Bowl.. How can anyone assume letting a little air out of the footballs gave the team such a dramatic advantage? ..Multiple game suspension!?!? You kidding!!?? ..250k fine for messing with the balls and jamming up a flimsy investigation sounds about right.

  39. Everyone stop saying “the integrity of the game”. I’m getting so sick and tired of that statement like any of you care about integrity. Fine them and move on!

  40. Don’t you all realize that this entire thing is being blown out of proportion and will only result in being motivation that leads to at least 1-2 more Patriots Super Bowl wins?

    As a Pats fan, we know this whole thing is a joke, but we are now starting to welcome it as it is basically guaranteeing the continuation of our dynasty.

    Keep it coming haters.

  41. (LeGarrettte Blount won’t play for New England because he had marijuana in his possession away from the workplace. )

    So it would be OK for possession in the workplace ?

  42. The Niners are a joke of a franchise!!! I’m Glad Patrick Willis got out before the sky come crashing down on that joke of a franchise hahahaha!!!! Hey CARL GRAY enjoy your 5-11 season this year i know i will. God Hates your team

  43. Science has proven that an under inflated ball travels with less velocity, less distance, lesser spiral, is not easier to grip or catch.

    Thus, not cheating. Not a competitive advantage. In fact, it is a competitive DISadvantage.

    Stop calling it cheating, if anything it was foolishness on behalf of Brady.

  44. I disagree with your overall conclusion and the general tone of this article. By comparing Tom Brady with other players who have been tested positive for Marijuana, you are insinuating that Tom Brady has definitely “cheated”. Now, “cheat” is a very strong word. I read the Ted Wells report in its entirety. Nothing in the report suggested to me that Tom Brady on purpose asked the equipments guys to prepare the game balls at less than 12. 5 PSI. The following questions need clear answers: 1) What conclusive evidence do you have to label Tom Brady a cheater? 2) Why did the officials decide against testing the footballs right before kickoff? If the PSI was at or near 12.5 during kickoff, there is a good chance that the pressure dropped at the time of testing due to the cold weather 3) Why did they check just 4 colts football compared those measures to 11 Patriots footballs? 4) The report stated that Tom Brady was interviewed. Why is that transcript missing? I am not suggesting that Tom Brady is not guilty but plainly stating that we do not have enough evidence/facts to conclude that he cheated.

  45. I think what should happen and what will happen are two different things.

    I think it should be 8 games to a year, but I think it’ll be 4 games instead.

  46. Daddy, tell me that “Book It!”story again about how Patriots fans thought they were going to get an apology for deflategate and draft picks for tampergate. Ok but you must go to bed after I tell you and not stay up laughing all night. LOL!

  47. @carl gray

    Put down the crack pipe bro, here are enough lunatic loser posters on this site, don’t add one to the 49ers.

    Also, since you brought it up, jerry rice would like to have a talk with you about your ” non tainted” SBs …. 3 of them at least

  48. 43% of Pro Football Talk readers vote for a 4 game or more suspension? I am shocked it’s not much higher, doesn’t matter there is no proof that anyone tampered with the balls except the referees before the Jet game who pumped them up to 16psi and were measured a day later- no deflation there- Brady has been destroying teams home and AWAY for 15 years so 43 percent, mostly trolls, vote that way? Ex Jet employee Goodell has to level the playing field some way…FREE TOM BRADY!!!!!!!

  49. This is nothing but a ridiculous witch hunt. Everyone knows it. And even if Brady HAD originally admitted to deflating the balls he still would have been branded a cheater for life. So it was a lose-lose situation for him. The only penalty he might deserve is a fine for not agreeing to hand over his phone. But that is pretty much it. Anything more then that would be beyond ridiculous and overblown. You can’t legally suspend someone when you have no hardcore evidence against them. That’s absurd.

  50. Carl Gray says:
    May 10, 2015 8:25 AM
    Ahh, the New England FAILtriots!

    Just another franchise that has less rings (all tainted) than us!

    We have 5 legit rings!

    Not tainted rings!

    Or no rings!

    The 49ers will continue their dynasty!

    No worse than 13-3 this year and a SB Championship!

    All at home field!

    Then comes a minimum of 5 more rings in the next 8-10 years!

    I can feel the dominance already!

    We are God’s Team!

    Colin Kaepernick is God’s Quarterback!

    Tom “Cheater” Brady belongs in jail!

    So does Belecheat!



    Yeah you know except for the time they got fined almost a MILLION DOLLARS AND LOST DRAFT picks for cheating the salary cap and stashing players on IR. Oh and let’s not forget about Jerry Rice and his use of a band substance to help him catch the ball. Yeah I’m sure Joe Cool didn’t benefit from that either

    And don’t get me started on all you other hypocrites crying about the “integrity of the game” what a joke!

    If you cared about that then how do you not blame the NFL for allowing balls to be played with in the first half they went out of site from the refs for the first time in 20 years (if you believe that). If they had a tip that something was going on why didn’t they just get the back up balls.

    Hypocrites, ALL OF YOU

  51. vcupats says:
    May 10, 2015 8:29 AM
    The rule that Brady & Pats personnel allegedly violated is punishable up to a $25K fine per NFL rules.
    Wrong. The fine starts at $25,000. Read the rule, and stop believing your fellow Patsie* fans.

  52. This is total horse crap
    4 games for a suspected and “probable” equip violation?
    Time to find better ways to invest my time in.
    Too much drama and too many back stories
    Football is a diversion, something to relax with.
    Recently the reward has been total disgust and outrage for the hatefulness and drama.
    I miss the old days. Football was hard hitting, crap free, and fun.

  53. I actually don’t think in this case the HC had anything to do with this. He asked Brady directly, “did you have anything to do with this”?
    Brady simply said NO!
    Anyone who won’t cooperate with the police or in a investagation must have a reason so the only way to interpet that is he did have a reason, one that now let Wells to say, “more likely then not, Brady did do something.
    We wait. let the commish and his dear friend Kraft decide.

  54. Indefinite suspension, pending the release of his phone records. No one is asking for naked pictures of Giselle. People with much higher profiles have surrendered their phone records with the same type of safeguards in place. He’s not cooperating for a reason and I don’t think the league can assess the final punishment for those involved until they have all of the electronic communications evaluated…including Brady AND Belichick. If he had been more forthcoming, this all could have been avoided.

  55. You really cannot do much worse than altering the actual football. Brady must be have a ground breaking suspension because this strikes directly at the heart of the integrity of the game.

    But not only did he cheat, he then lied about cheating.

    And then, not only did he lie and cheat, but he obstructed justice in an effort to conceal his actions.

    He tried to coach his co-conspirators not to tell the truth AND refused to turn over his own cell phone records.

    All the actions of a VERY guilty person.

  56. The rule that Brady & Pats personnel allegedly violated is punishable up to a $25K fine per NFL rules. The NFL has wasted an embarrassing amount of time and money on this matter. If they have the goods on them, punish them and move on.
    Read the dang rule book, if you know how to read. The $25K is the MINIMUM penalty. The wording of the rule leaves it open to anything else the NFL wants to impose. Jesus some of the Pats fans make themselves look stupid.

    I do not expect anything to be announced until after the owners meetings later this month. Too big an issue for the owners not to discuss face to face, especially when one of the teams/owners is facing discipline.

  57. This just goes on and on. The NFL and Goodell will continue to screw it up until they finally come up with a punishment. What is so ridiculous is that this should have been handled simply and quickly when it first came up. Now Brady is being defamed as a cheater when all he did was state a preference as to how he likes the balls inflated. Does anyone think that other quarterbacks don’t do the same thing? Come on! And no one has pointed to ANY game where any of this has made a difference in the outcome. As has already been pointed out. No matter what the impact is of a Brady suspension at the start of the season, they’ll still win the AFC East and will be the team to beat to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

  58. I heard Brady has a check in his pocket made out for 25k but he’s having a hard time pulling it out with 4 rings on his fingers.

  59. Brady should be BANNED INDEFINITELY. He’s been cheating the rules for many years. Once the COLD weather sets in, let’s see how effective he is.

    By the way, shouldn’t we wait to hear from the Ball Boys before rendering a decision? Does the NFL want another Rice-rush-to-judgement case on their hands? Once the ball boys are interviewed, the evidence will be worse than the Rice video.

  60. Everyone treats the Wells report as some sort of independent review. It wasn’t. The NFL is one of the biggest clients at Wells’ law firm. The firm makes a ton of money off the NFL every year. The tech firm that they hired to examine the ball data is the same one used almost exclusively by big corporations to defend themselves against lawsuits. They have previously argued that secondhand smoke does not cause cancer and that pouring poison into a river doesn’t make people downriver sick. This is a matter of public record. They have been widely accused of bias and of producing only the findings their client wants. Goodell promised the report would consider potential bias. Other than saying they found no evidence of bias, they did nothing to investigate it. When they noticed that one ref’s measurements were higher for the Colts and lower for the Patriots, they actually said they “assumed” the two refs had switched gauges. Did they investigate this? Did they actually ask the refs? Did they examine the fact that the ref with the bad measurements was also the ref that picked up the flag against the Panthers last year? Or got screamed at by Brady? Nope. Apparently he couldn’t possibly be biased.

    I am mad as hell at the NFL over this. They have taken what may, repeat may, have been a minor violation, turned it into a federal case, and then contracted out for a biased report on one of the biggest stars in football. Similar cases against the Chargers and other clubs were handled quietly. Instead, all Goodell has managed to do is smear someone who has, for a decade and a half, been a model citizen and one of the most positive performers in the NFL. This whole thing disgusts me.

  61. Peyton was suspended for a year. BB should get the same punishment. Do you really think BB does not know EVERYTHING going on with this team?
    First cameras (NFL lost the film) and now this!

    Goodell has to set the example here or NFL will become WWF. I am already thinking everything is pre determined. TB and TN playing each other game 1 before the draft announced… Rookie QB’s squaring off.

    The call in Detroit to get the Dallas GB ratings? Come on.

    Big money is involved and that’s what it’s all about!

    Anything outside of 8 games for Brady for cover up not the crime and the coach and GM for 1 year will be a joke.

  62. Despite all the apologists, it has to be a minimum of 8 games for the league to have any credibility.

    And Belichick has to go with him.

    The league has a very defined policy of punishing repeat offenders more severely than first timers, to punish coaches whether they supposedly knew or not, and to punish non-cooperation.

    The Patriots are serial cheaters.

    Forget passing and catching, fumbling statistics tell us this has gone on for years.

    And for a stats freak like Belichick, there’s no way he didn’t know something was causing fumbles to drop so dramatically. (And before you embarrass yourself with the whole “Belichick is such a great coach is why the Pats don’t fumble”, he was coach for years before the rule change and you were middle of the NFL.)

    Should be a year each 4 picks incl a first and second, and a $10m fine.

  63. I’m just here to watch all the butthurt from Pats fans.

    What was that that you clowns are always saying?
    Ah, right,
    “Your tears are delicious”.

  64. Hey NE fans, so you can dish it out but you can’t take it?

    If you’re mad at anyone be mad at tom brady & the NE patriots. They are to blame for this whole mess. It’s pretty simple… don’t cheat.

  65. Can all these haters knock it off already with the “integrity of the game” bullcrap? Apparently cheating only hurts the integrity of the game when the Patriots do it. When another team gets caught…nobody cares. But when the Pats get caught all hell breaks loose. And deflating footballs is really the worst way to cheat? Are you serious? What about steroids use or setting up a bounty where defensive players are bribed to hurt and injury opponents?! But oh no – deflating footballs is the absolute worst way to cheat in the game!

  66. The details of this investigation were supposed to remain confidential and secure per the CBA.

    Not only were there several key leaks from the league office, but the content and timing of their release certainly appeared to be part of a calculated effort to harm the Pats.

    With that kind of incompetence and lack of professionalism, coupled with the other recent investigations that the NFL completely bungled, even I wouldn’t want to surrender my personal cell phone to these Keystone cops and I’m just some random dude. Tom Brady is one of the biggest megastars in the world.

    You can blame the league for the lack of trust on this one .

    Having said that, I’m a Pats fan and my early takeaways:

    – I don’t think Brady ever specifically asked his guys to cheat but I do think he was “possibly, generally aware” that his guys were taking good care of his footballs for him

    – I think in the grand scheme of things that this was a minor infraction but I think he’s an idiot for drawing this thing out

    – There are definitely Pats fans that are completely denying the team did anything wrong and there are definitely those who think he should get the chair for ruining the sanctity of the game. I’m pretty sure the answer is somewhere in the middle

    – I think the penalty for Brady and the Patriots will be pretty harsh so as to appease the masses (it’s pretty obvious as stated in the article that Goodell is going to let public opinion dictate this one)

    – I love the clever posts that suggest that either the penalty is huge or if not it is because Kraft is his best friend (obviously creates a no-win situation for the Pats)

    – I think there is more information to come out. Whether it is information that will help or hurt the Patriots I have no idea but I think this thing is far from over

    – This whole thing would look way worse if Brady didn’t lead the Pats to a 28-0 2nd Half against Indy and then go 37/50 w 4 TDs against Seattle with league controlled balls

    – After spy gate, the Pats seemed to really steamroll certain opponents. Not sure they have the horses they had back in 07 but as a Pats fan, just one of very few things to look forward to in the near future

  67. This is madness! He’s Tom Brady, let him play with his balls inflated however he wants them! Who cares? Pool players get to chose what size stick they can play with!

  68. mc2180 says:
    May 10, 2015 9:30 AM

    If your company asked for your personal cell phone would you give it up?

    Three thoughts.

    1. If I had signed an employment agreement that specifies I had to cooperate with investigations, yes.

    2. But if I didn’t, my company can suspend or even fire me.

    3. Maybe he and the Pats should stop the serial cheating. Te league didn’t wake up one day and say “let’s get Brady’s cell phone”.

    He cheated, he’s been cheating, his coach is a cheater and the entire organization stinks like Kraft’s breath after one of his drunken benders.

  69. Brady deserves to be suspended and he better be.

    But more incredible is the delusion of Pats fans. They are all over Twitter complaining about Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers. This is pathetic. Those guys and every other QB submit their footballs for approval and abide by NFL rules. They don’t then bend the rules to their liking after the refs stamp the balls.

    This fanbases’s inability to keep it real and simply say, “Yeah, he cheated. Let’s move on” is certifiable.

  70. Florio, you keep fanning the flames that Brady didn’t cooperate. Your only evidence is that he didn’t hand over his personal phone.

    On the other hand, you have given the NFL and Wells a pass on a long list of facts that indicate this was a sham investigation.

    Normally, such biased reporting comes when a reporter wants to please his sources to ensure the pipeline of future updates. Without specifically telling us who can you tell us from where your information is sourced.

  71. patsfan112 says:
    “.. Can all these haters knock it off already with the “integrity of the game” bullcrap? Apparently cheating only hurts the integrity of the game when the Patriots do it. When another team gets caught…nobody cares. But when the Pats get caught all hell breaks loose…”

    Well, at least you admitted that they cheated.
    The first step in overcoming any mental illness is to admit there’s a problem.
    Good job.

  72. It makes zero sense to deflate balls in cold weather when the temperature would do that naturally. There is zero evidence that it gives a competetive advantage. In fact the opposite seems to be true. Brady’s play improved after balls were inflated to the 12.5 psi he has said repeatedly that he prefers. Zero evidence that Brady ever said that he likes footballs below 12.5 psi.

    That the whole report is based on the deemed implausible explanation of the conversations between mcNally and Jastremski while Wells deemed his own interpertation of the conversation to be more plausible then theirs.

    That the Wells measured the impact of how 13 balls could be deflated in the amt of time McNally was in the bathroom and recorded the pressure difference. That pressure difference was ignored in the report when comparing Patriots and Colts balls.

    That the control group for the whole experiment was 3 Colts balls. They measured 4 but threw out the 3rd one because of an anomaly.

    Plenty of holes in the Wells report. Going to be interesting to see how Brady tears it apart.

  73. Some of you Patriots fans posting here are a bit on the scary side. I hope you’re not representative of the average Patriots fans.

  74. The NFL created what has turned into this fiasco. This never should have gone this far. And I hope that they, especially Goodell are happy with that.

    “Integrity of the game” only matters in this case, apparently. The Vikings and Panthers blatantly violated a rule designed to protect “the integrity of the game”. Move on, nothing to see here. The Chargers caught violating “the integrity of the game”, fined $25k.

    The fact of the Wells report is this: There is no “smoking gun”. Should there be discipline? Absolutely. But for these half season, full season scenarios touted by blowhard haters? No.

  75. Please stop with the integrity of the game issue. This is a league that can’t get game altering plays right even with replay. Lions- Dallas game, Dallas Green Bay etc

    Every play an olineman could be called for holding or DB called for Pass Interference.

    People are foaming at the mouth over this, it’s just over the top.

    I get it. We are all sick and tired of Tom Brady and the Patriots. Sick and tired of all the winning and all the attention they get and all the praise from the media.

    The media loves to build someone up and then tear them down. Ask Nancy Kerrigan.

    Brady will be fined and suspended not because he is guilty of anything serious but because the NFL has to save face.

    This is also a league that fines players for not talking to the media(Lynch) for using different headphones(Kap) and wearing the wrong color shoes (Marshall)

    So please remind me what integrity the NFL has.

  76. Listen, the result of the deflated balls (a lopsided win) is not relevant. There are several issues. One is the deliberate attempt to manipulate the result of a football game. It does not matter if it was successful, just whether ihappened. If you bothered to read the report, it should be clear that the preponderance of the evidence shows their was an intentional manipulation of the balls and Brady was at least aware of it. Goodell can’t let that pass. He can’t show favoritism to his buddy Kraft and has to be reasonable after he messed up with Rice. I think this piece of the issue gets Brady 2 games.

    The fact that Brady refused to cooperate is another issue. Mike did anice jib laying this out and how others have cooperated. If Brady had niothing to hide he clearly would have allowed his own attorneys to screen his phone and comply. My guess is he had other communicationson their discussing ball deflation with other parties that might have incriminated him, including with other other players and possibly Pats officials. Lack of cooperation with the league on an official investigation is serious. I think this gets Brady 2-4 games.

    So I think Brady gets 4-6 games, which maybe gets knocked down to 2-4 games on appeal. And a big fine which will be chickenfeed to him. Then life can go on. But Goodell can’t let this pass.

    Not sure what might happen to the Pats. The report clears Kraft and Belichick, but I personally have a hard time believing BB didn’t know anything. With Spygate in the background, Goodell may conclude the Pats still don’t have adequate controls on place to prevent manipulation. If so, they could face stiffer penalties than Spygate.

    But in any event, Brady must be suspended or it will be open season to break rules.

  77. Nice logic chopping. Something isn’t true (.5 psi matters) but it is true because we spent a lot of money and would look foolish.
    Think thereabouts sums up the nil under goodell

  78. vcupats says:
    May 10, 2015 8:29 AM
    The rule that Brady & Pats personnel allegedly violated is punishable up to a $25K fine per NFL rules. The NFL has wasted an embarrassing amount of time and money on this matter. If they have the goods on them, punish them and move on.


    I think you need to read that rule again

  79. Still haven’t seen the new rule saying the league will provide ALL balls for both teams to prevent from happening again? Spent all this time determining who’s at fault, Brady and the Patriots should be punished. But the NFL should look at themselves also for allowing teams to use their own balls. Provide balls that both teams have to use and eliminate this issue.

  80. I wouldn’t be surprised with 8 games, but Brady will appeal and he may serve 2-4, max.

    But I also don’t buy the idea that he “deserves” to be punished for not handing over his phone. The NFL front office leaks like a submarine with a screen door – who would trust them with anything personal? Hell, even Wells put in texts from the one dude to his mom in the report – why?

    Brady has a lot to lose with this, and I think he’s going to fight this tooth and nail. I think haters tend to view the report as more “evidence” of they mythological, oft-quoted “repeated instances of cheating”.

    If the report had absolved the Pats and Brady the haters would be calling foul, so they can’t complain that fans are doing the same, especially considering what a shoddy document the report is, in my opinion.

    For the conclusion to say “we don’t have enough evidence to prove anything, but we’re gonna say there was cheating” is pretty ridiculous.

    But Wells and Goodell knew going in that anything negative about the Pats would be eaten up by the haters.

    I’ve said this before many times – if it was MY team, I’d want a whole hell of a lot better evidence if they were going to be sanctioned. The NFL mishandled this from the get go, and finding the Pats at fault was the only way they could justify anything.

  81. – Receivers using stickum
    – Linemen taping jerseys & using silicone
    – Using undersized youth pads for more speed
    – Deflating balls

    These are all acts of cheating at about the same level. Trying to get a competitive advantage against the rules and not get caught. The NFL is responsible to detect these when they occur. If they don’t …. the deterrent from future cheating will come from better policing / oversight not suspension.

  82. Should get what Pet Rose got from baseball band from the game for life. The end. Football has gotten to be such a fake.
    It is so fixed.

  83. This isn’t all on Brady (who should be suspended). Ignorance is no excuse, and I am certain Belichick knew as well so he needs to be suspended, too.

    And a hefty team penalty – loss of a draft pick or two.

  84. Page 228 should be the headline. The media overlooks it because they demand scandal to fuel exposure.

    “In sum, the data did not provide a basis for us to determine with absolute certainty whether there was or was not tampering as the analysis of such data ultimately is dependent upon assumptions and information that is not certain.” -Wells Report

  85. As a Jets fan, I feel for my archrival hardcore Patriots fans out there. They’re in a tough spot and it’s not their fault… To see your favorite teams QB who was part of 4 Super Bowl Championships go down like this must be gut wrenching and sickening. It’s a tough spot to be in for sure. Best of luck picking up the pieces and moving forward. #Compassion #Empathy

  86. the day is soon approaching when Tom Brady and Bill Belicheck will be gone. Some say that day can’t come soon enough, but my question is – Who will all you haters direct your venomous, hate-filled comments at? Who will be the next super team to become the “most hated” in the land? Don’t tell me all those wins and records are tainted. I’m sure you will find someone else to hate, because that’s who YOU are. HATERS.
    The name of the team or the name of the QB or coach doesn’t really matter. All you care about is having SOMEONE (anyone) to HATE.
    Yes, that day is soon approaching. You better start making your lists to see who will be next. And maybe you should sit down and talk to your kids about your hate filled attitudes. You may find out that you have passed on those traits to them-Heaven help us all.
    Go ahead and delete this if you are afraid that I may be right!

  87. Tom Brady has hidden behind a lack of Subpoena power approach in a way that would only fool the most gullible, but he has, to some extent, turned this into a He Said/She Said scenario — by concealing his phone from investigators.

    As Florio opined, if the League wants to effectively remove the He Said/She Said element to this mess, all it need to do is adopt the stance, “No phone, no play.” That is genius.

    Love Goodell or hate him (or fall anywhere in between) — one thing we all can observe is that the Commish abhors being LIED to, DECEIVED, PLAYED LIKE A FOOL.

    Wow. I love Florio’s angle there. Simple, yet so inspired. That one-step approach would cut right to heart of all of this in one short, concise, posture. Now THAT would show the Commish had some stones, and he knew how to deal effectively with a very dicey problem. I love it!

  88. Mr. Florio makes an excellent point. If Brady indeed did have knowledge or direct Patriots’ personnel to alter the footballs, does that in itself not constitute a performance enhancing action?

    I think so. A performance enhancing action.

  89. iamdinguskhan says:
    May 10, 2015 8:53 AM

    I am a Redskins fan but this is way overblown. Quit putting this in the same breath as beating up women and failing drug’s not . If they have definite proof treat it like when pitchers get caught greasing balls. Since the game is done maybe 1 game suspension or the fact other members the staff was involved a lose a mid round draft pick. To think this takes anything away from Toms legacy is completely stupid and overblown just ask the Legion of Boom who he completely took apart with totally legal footballs. A real football fan would want all this overblown stupidity to stop.
    This deserved repeating.

    Technically, this is a cheating offense, and Brady deserves to be punished. But saying this is the same as Pete Rose betting on baseball is just going too far. This is more like the Pine Tar Bat. Do some research and see how many former QBs said they thought everyone did the same thing. They will make an example of Brady so all that stuff stops.
    They need to make a decision, and get this over with.

    As for Brady giving up his phone. Just the info in his contact list would be worth stealing, and that is only the tip of the iceberg of what could be on that phone. I don’t blame him for not giving it up, but he should have had his people do the search and turn it over that way.

  90. FoozieGrooler says:
    Well, at least you admitted that they cheated.
    The first step in overcoming any mental illness is to admit there’s a problem.
    Good job.
    Because I can admit that ALL teams cheat. There is no integrity in football because ALL teams cheat. Cheating salary caps, steroids, bounties, stickum, spying, bribing refs, heating footballs, etc…the list goes on. That’s football for you. If you don’t believe your fave team is cheating just because they haven’t been caught yet, then you are delusional.

  91. Pats’ fans are a riot.

    First the Wells report was going to prove the Colts did it. Now Brady’s going to tear it apart.

    You’re embarrassing.

    Your team cheated with Spygate and now has been cheating for years by deflating balls after they’d been checked. It explains your freakishly low fumble rate and it makes you serial cheaters.

    Brady and Belichick should both be out a minimum of 8 games but should be a year. There needs to be multiple picks lost and a big fine.

    Obviously the Spygated slap had no impact.

    The Bills would be considered one of the best teams of all time and Kelly one of the best QBs ever with multiple SBs if they lacked integrity on the same scale as the Pats and their fans.

  92. No, haha. Just no. The baseline is not the penalty for steroids … no matter how hard you want to believe it’s same same.

    The ‘baseline’ is what the Vikings and Panthers got for tampering with footballs. Ahem … nothing. That was just months ago. Another instructive equipment penalty could be the baseline from what the Chargers got for using sticky towels and refusing to turn them over, that was $25,000, and they changed a rule to say no sticky towels, because they are just like stickum. Oh a nice baseline for non-compliance with an investigation would be that case, which was $25k, or the Favre case, which was a $50k fine for refusing to turn over a phone. You guys are nuts if you think the NFLPA is going to stand by while one guy is singled out for over-the-top punishment because a bunch of other people don’t like that he knocked their team out of the playoffs.

  93. Mike, I am a bit surprised that, as a lawyer, you are not recognizing certaint things:

    — evidence against Blount, Rice, etc was clear and uncontroverted. There is no direct evidence presented in the Wells report that Brady ever pressed for adjusting PSI below 12.5, let alone for doing so AFTER the refererees approved game balls. I have read it over carefully repeatedly. The evidence of that crime on Brady’s part not only is not there, it is not even asserted. The Wells team registers judgements about Brady repeatedly and with abandon, but never says he demanded PSI below 12.5. Without that evidence, the League invites endless legal trouble if it suspends him.

    I am a Pats fan, and I do think the report presents quite a bit of evidence that McNally did, at minimum, improper ball handling. I also cannot understand why his Patriots supervisers are not responsible too.

    The treatment of two leading professionals, Brady and Anderson, is shocklingly different. Anderson is treated with effusive respect and all his mistakes excused, even though he had the chief responsibility for steps that could have created a total lack of ambiguity re the pre-game balls. He did not keep track of them or measure them in advance, despite being alerted to the issue in advance. Brady, by contrast, is repeatedly subjected to innuendo and dismissal by the Wells team, no matter what — and very little of what he said is repeated in the report.

    I will also note that my husband, a retired experimental physicist, was able in one half day to identify an important untested factor that could have accounted for about .3 PSI of the difference in deflation between Colts and Pats balls during the game. He may or may not have his finger on a factor that would pan out, but it was not investigated. The scientists note themselves that they did not have full information.

    Bottom line: If League takes destructive steps against Brady specifically with nothing more than this, it is likely to have a years long fight on its hands with the greatest QB of our generation. Not good.

  94. I am not a Pat’s or Brady fan.
    Now that’s established.

    Don’t suspend him. Fine him. But don’t suspend him.
    This draconian attitude the NFL has adopted is getting out of control.

    And the fact that the NFLPA is now where makes me wonder what they do for the rather large paychecks they get.

    That and should the Steelers beat them on opening night I don’t want to here the whining from Pat’s nation that they lost because Brady was benched.

  95. A combination of Brady’s phone being given up to investigation and if those cameras near the bathroom where ballboy disappeared for 90 seconds plus didn’t delete footage every 7-10 days this could be much worse for NE. It’s feasible they have been tilting games ,home field advantage ,etc for more than just last year. (* see Warren Sharp fumble report)
    They need to just take their punishments and move on. I feel bad for Pats fans and players not involved with any of this because public opinion will never ever change.
    Is Brady to be grouped in with Barry Bomds and Lance Armstrong? He lied, covered up like they did. But he is at least in group with Andy Petite and Gaylord Perry (lol).
    Guessing it will cost a season for Belichick, 8 games for Brady. Kraft and franchise will get record $ fine ( north of $1million ) and record number of draft picks taken away. NFL gonna put hammer down on them after getting so much flack for destroying more Spygate evidence- in Foxboro – 3 days AFTER announcing those punishments.

  96. Another common theme thrown around these boards: Goodell is Kraft’s puppet. Please stop with this nonsense. They have a work related relationship. They got a lot of publicity when Kraft worked to end the lockout. And more publicity with the dinner AFC CG weekend.

    I might change my mind and think Goodell takes orders from Kraft when a Super Bowl is held in Foxboro.

    The only non dome stadium in a cold weather climate to host the Super Bowl was……… Wait for it………MetLife. Home of the Jets.

    As much as we would like to believe Rog is fair and impartial, he is still a human being who bleeds Jet green.

  97. It has been days since the Wells report came out. Certainly a lot longer than “30 hours”. If I was publicly accused of something that might tarnish my reputation and subject me to punishment, and I was completely innocent, I would come out swinging hard and loud.

    Brady’s silence and demeanor is very telling.

  98. Wow, the BS leaks just continue out of the front office. What a joke. Goodell should suspend himself right alongside Brady.

  99. Jet fans Buffalo fans Miami fans you wish he was suspended the only reason you gentlemen want him suspended because your teams are pure garbage eat it four Super Bowl rings kiss them

  100. I totally agree with the people who say that if this happened on tags watch he would have called up Kraft..said we have had complaints and knock it off and it would be over. But,,as a non-patriot fan….or termed a “hater” by saying so I guess…this is a lot more fun and entertaining and should fill the days until training camp!

  101. I say let him play the regular season. But when playoffs roll around, he’s out.

  102. made a big post about employment privacy & data security laws. got deleted for some reason.

    But short story is – if this goes to litigation, brady’s personal phone would be subjected to e-discovery. Guaranteed.

  103. At the end of the day, Brady’s lawyers are going to annihilate the Wells report. The science behind the analysis of the balls is absurd. You can’t average bad measurements. If the gauges can’t accurately describe PSI at halftime, how do you know what they were at the start of the game. Why did they test a bunch of similar gauges, rather than the ones they used in the game? You can’t use a control group of four balls (even then dropping one) to model air pressure when you don’t know if those balls were treated differently than the 11 other ones you are measuring. How do you account for the fact they were inside longer? You especially can’t use those balls when the team that handed them to you is also the team that called for the tests in the first place. This is rotten science that would be laughed out of peer review.

    Without the ball measurements, you could interpret the texts a lot of different ways. Without the measurements, there’s also no evidence that a violation actually occurred.

    The NFL has also given them a very good argument for selective enforcement. The Panthers-Vikings game violations resulted in a warning. The Chargers use of towels with something stickum-like on them resulted in a tiny little fine, even though they didn’t cooperate. Then, because the Colts are pissed about getting crushed yet again by the Patriots or because various people around the league “perceive” that the Patriots are cheaters, we get a $5M investigation. This is a classic example of selective enforcement.

  104. re: “Can’t take Polls, 100% of Jets, Dolphins fans want him banned for the season.”

    Not just AFC East rivals: it appears that Ravens may have been screwed out of two Super Bowl appearances since 2011 by this round of Patriots cheating; our fans have as much or more reason to want to see Goodell bring the hammer down.

    Many fans of the 28 other NFL teams also want Brady banned for the season or, better yet: indefinitely – at least until the text messages are made public and Brady makes a full confession as to how long this round of Patriots cheating has been going on. After that: revisit the asterisk and draft picks lost.

  105. People still arguing about what the refs measured on the field that day… LOL

    Completely ignoring the equipment guy that named himself “The Deflator” and Brady texting him like a school girl crush in the days after the game.

    We all know that some of these same people wouldn’t punish Brady if there were film taking the air out of the balls himself.

  106. Un no. More nonsense.
    OK if the league wants to suspend a player until they turn over a phone, they are now in constitutional courts for violating due process dude.

    The NFLPA has already argued and won that players are not liable to turn over phones, emails, blood tests, etc. The courts have decided that the NFL doesn’t have subpoena rights of phones, emails, blood tests, etc.

    If the NFL tried to suspend a player for that, they’d be giving themselves more power than the federal government itself. That is basically an impossibility.

    Consider the Hargrove question placed before a judge and negotiated arbitrator Tagliabue. Goodell tried to suspend him for seven games based on wiping out an entire hard drive. The judge issued a stay, and the arbitrator vacated the suspension cleanly, stating that the precedent is $50,000 for obstructing.

    If the court won’t let Goodell suspend a coach for destroying hard drives, what on God’s green earth makes you think they’ll let him suspend an NFLPA member for no turning over a cellphone?

    Goodell can cook up whatever he wants to appease fans … just shooting this out there so that you don’t get your hopes up … Brady won’t miss a game because of this.

    One quick appeal from the NFLPA, and any penalty beyond the $25k fine in the rule-book will come crashing down based on the prejudice and malice of the entire operation.

    No this isn’t “steroids”. It’s the Vikings and Panthers heating footballs during the game. Shoot, it’s not even that. They had those guys on video doing it. This is pieced together on the strength of Wells’ shoddy guess-work. It’s the Chargers Rivers and his WRs using stickum. That’s what it is.

    It’s not steroids. Sorry. It’s not domestic violence, sorry.

    Don’t get ur hopes up gang! Lol.

  107. Tom Brady lies but the fumbling data does not!!! The pats have been cheating for years. Fans of 31 teams should do their research on this topic. Check it out in your search engine. Patriots fumble data sharp football analysis.

  108. To all you haters: if you are capable of reading why not read the report yourself? You will see that this report is a sham of an investigation and if you suspend Brady then get ready for Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers both being subject to the same punishment. ALL 32 teams mess with the game balls. Rodgers is on public record as saying they “sneak” over-inflated balls into games….. EXACT same accusations being thrown at Brady.
    #hypocrites- Sorry GB fans, I like Rodgers- but you can’t punish one player and not another for the same offense.
    You haters are seriously so envious of the Patriots that what little judgement you have is out the door.
    Brady gets fined and he appeals that (and wins)….

  109. The patriots fumble data does not lie:

    2000-06: one fumble per 42 touches

    2007-14: one fumble per 74 touches

    The switch came after a rule change Brady lobbied for in 2006. It’s not coincidence. And don’t believe patriot lies. This data is accurate!!!

  110. If PSI is such a BFD then why aren’t game balls provided by the league and protected from potentially being tampered with by a Ball Cop? I’ve been closely following the NFL for over 40 years and I don’t remember an official ever calling a game ball into question. And don’t tell me it never occurred to anyone to adjust the air pressure to a level that was most comfortable for the quarterback! MLB pitchers have always tried to gain an advantage using pomade or Vaseline and I promise you that QBs have had their tricks, too. Hell, if the NFL was halfway smart they would let teams use whatever amount of air they want because they have been changing rules for years in order to help the the quarterback and the offense.
    And Goodell doesn’t have the stones to make Bob Kraft angry, so everyone calling for a harsh punishment should just forget about it.

  111. P.S. I also want to ask a question of MF and his team. You say that everyone has always cooperaated with earlier NFL requests to hand over cell phone and email evidence. But does that “everyone” refer to team and League employees, or to unonized players?

    Also, I am confused about what more they needed., because they have B’s texts and emails with Jastremski. The Wells report is anything but transparent about what more they needed to figure out what about Brady. Brady had a right to be concerned about an unstructured fishing expedition about every text has ever sent about game balls. He must have known he was pretty much judged guilty already when these guys interviewed him. The tone is obvious. And he might well have seen the totally uncontextualized stuff the Wells people were doing with texts from Jastremski. Speculations piled upon speculations about texts with various possible meanings. I would not turn over everything ever wrote in that kind of “investigtaion.” Most people would not.

    If this goes further, the League should realize that a more neutral arbitrator could end up with Brady’s texts, emails and find nothing wrong with them by a strict definition of wrongdoing. In short, not blaming Brady for worrying about overinflation, and not finding any evidence he asked for post-refereree changes. He almost certainly never did.

  112. Frazier28/7
    May 10, 2015, 8:08 AM EDT

    8 games sounds fair.
    Sucks when your favorite player becomes nationally defamed, doesn’t it?

    Sucks when u wish u had him as your QB
    and he has giving more excitement and wins then your teams QB
    4 SB’s
    I wouldn’t trade him for any QB

    Jealousy will kill a person
    That would be YOU !!!!

  113. Let’s not all ignore the stats that prove that the Patriots level of fumbles also sunk to record levels during this era. And bad weather wins were also at records levels. The deflated balls didn’t just help Brady, but everyone that got touches. If you can squeeze the ball better, it ain’t coming out.

    So think about how many times they secured home field advantage in the playoffs by a game or two that may have turned on a sloppy turnover up in Foxborough.

    You can see the effects of cheating go far further than Brady just throwing the ball better.

  114. Goodell works for the owners. He has doubled the value of every NFL team since he started.
    They will all decide together what is best for the financial long term effect on this and nothing more.
    This game is about profitablity and it should be because it’s a business. Everything is done to have the best financial impact on the profitablity and value of the NFL franchises.

  115. nolasoxfan2012, what you said makes entirely too much sense. And it will be unconditionally rejected by everyone who is DYING to see Tom/the Pats suffer from this. That’s just how ridiculous and slanted this issue has become.

    I see grown men now saying it’s a “FACT” that Tom was caught cheating. No, sorry, it’s not. The Wells report makes no such claim. The report makes NO concrete determination about what Tom said/instructed/knew. It makes NO concrete determination about what anyone did to the balls in the AFCG or any other. It makes NO concrete determination that the Patriots’ balls in the AFCG were unusual compared to the Colts’ balls, due to a host of faulty statistical calculations and errors in method (“oops we ran outta time to check the other 8 Colts balls, so you should just trust us on these numbers — btw you can totally deflate 12 balls in 90 seconds!!!”) There is no precedent for such an infraction and ABSOLUTELY ZERO precedent for such an unbelievably over-the-top investigation and/or witchhunt. If anyone wants to cry about what’s fair or unfair, start with this ridiculous issue.

    The report about the Patriots’ fumbling activities has been debunked about 10 times since it came out. It is a sham. Use Google.

    Spygate, ahhhh, spygate. “The most nefarious form of cheating ever”, right? The incident EVERY opposing team fan uses as the basis of the Pats “history of cheating.” You know, the thing that was entirely legal until 2006. The thing that the Jets got caught doing AFTER it was made illegal and faced NO punishment for whatsoever. Yes indeed, that’s right up there with murder, you guys. Good job, great logic.

    This incident has revealed the depths of delusion and bloodlust NFL fans have against successful, perennial contenders like the Patriots. You are all willing to believe total myth and fantasy and scream it from the top of your lungs if it means Brady, Belichick (who will not face punishment) and the team go down. It’s extremely sad.

    The best part is Brady is still playing at a very high level and will be there to kill your teams for several more years. Regardless of the punishment that comes out. Enjoy. Ta-ta.

  116. “Players have been suspended for far less”… Seriously Mike??!!
    Are you kidding me??
    You mean players that have been PROVEN beyond all shadow of a doubt?
    Players that have VIDEO or ACTUAL & FACTUAL evidence against them??… Those people???
    People that have an ongoing history of the same infraction????
    YOU are using your position in the media to condem a player in the court of public opinion based on wording such as “probably & generally ” in a report that has soooo many contradictory & inconclusive findings it’s almost beyond comical!!
    I’ve honestly never seen more biased reporting from blog forum than this one & that’s really saying something with so many out there!!
    Th report is NOT impartial as it’s findings can NOT be as it is paid for by the league it represents…..would a report by Someone Brady claimed to be independent yet paid for that said “more probable than not” nothing occurred on behalf Toms knowledge be any less or more credible than the Wells Report? Of course not!! Thus based soley on no factual proof on any part of Brady’s knowledge about what may or may not of happened the comparison of what you used above as examples or guide lines as pressident is ludicrous!!

  117. He should be suspended longer than someone who was “definitely” caught taking supplements that are illegal? Really, now think about that before you open your mouth again. I think it must be the NFL fans who elected the 50 senators who said it is more probably than not that climate change isn’t man made. Glad we solved that.

  118. You’re missing the fact that the Wells Report does not clearly implicate Tom Brady. Being “at least generally aware” of something that “probably” happened is much different than something that is clear cut.

    Also, the two closest situations are the Panthers/Vikings ball warming incident and the 2012 Chargers Stickum towel. The former came with a “hey, stop that!” and the latter was a $25K fine for not cooperating. No full fledged investigation spanning 5 months. No torches and no pitchforks. This whole thing is because everyone is tired of the New England Patriots beating their face in for over decade. Sorry pancake faces. Even a bogus Brady suspension will not change the fact that the Patriots are the WORLD CHAMPS and your teams are not for yet another year. We in Boston love being the bad guy in this WWE environment that the NFL has become. Bring it on.

  119. Question: If you were asked, would you turn over your electronic records to your employer?

    Answer: ABSOLUTELY!

    First of all, these players make a LOT of money. A LOT! There is no way anyone with an ounce of good sense would do anything to endanger that payday. Besides, everyone in the public eye should know you absolutely don’t put anything in writing that you don’t want to see in headlines.

    The cheating is bad enough. Hiding it and lying much worse.

  120. Doing something illegal like smoking weed (regardless of how rapidly the law is changing) is worse than breaking a rule in sport. “Don’t tamper with the footballs” is not the same as “don’t do drugs”. That includes adderal and HGH and Steroids. All illegal without permission from a doctor.

    As an example… If anyone thinks Lance Armstrong doing blood transfusions in back rooms and loading up on EPO (that can kill you) is the same as deflating a football by 1 psi they are crazy.

  121. If it’s less then eight games I will cancel my NFL ticket for the first time in about 15 years. We should create a fan fans club and unite to express our voice. Spy gate deflate gate tuck rule Brady rule. Starting to think the commishs last name is Kraft. Waiting to see if I will cancel. Send this to the league office.

  122. It does not matter how long he is suspended. At this point in his career it is all about his legacy and now he will be viewed as a cheater, except by the pats fans in denial, lol. He’s old and has been on the decline anyways. I think Jimmy will be able to throw the same boring 3 yard slants anyhow. They will be fine without him, Brady was always a system guy, this will just prove it.

  123. I don’t think you can get him on probable knowledge but need to use the conduct detrimental. The report does not have enough evidence that the balls were messed with. Along with the fact that only four colts balls were tested. Who’s to say they were not under the psi too.
    4 games appealed to two.

  124. What really makes me laugh, is when the Pats fans say that there is “no smoking gun”, or “no real proof”, that Brady did anything wrong.

    Roethlisberger got suspended for 4 games, and there was no “real proof” that he did anything wrong, with a drunk girl in Georgia.

    Do I think Ben deserved to be suspended? Yes, I do. He was obviously doing something shady, and he put himself in that situation. It’s about being a professional at all times. He’s a franchise qb, and he was acting like an immature kid.

    Anyone who isn’t a crazy Pats fan would admit that not only did Brady play a part in deflating the balls, but he also lied about it multiple times.

    Let me be clear, do I think it made any difference in the outcome of the games? Hell no!! Do I think Brady is one of the best qbs of all time? Hell yes (as much as it hurts me to admit it)!! Do I think he should be suspended? Definitely!!!

    He cheated, and then lied about it when he got caught.

  125. Tom Brady and the league office employees are not the same thing and it is ridiculous that this post compares to the two.

    League office employees are not part of a union and have no collective bargaining agreement. Farve, like Brady, also didn’t turn over his phone and only got a $50K fine. That’s a much better comparison in the circumstances of cooperating for the integrity of the shield.

  126. How could the league justify suspending Blount for the game based on something completely unrelated to the game and not suspend Brady

    Lack of proof.

  127. WE think…. we conjecture.. some hope… but no matter what the NFL decides this will drag on possibly for a year or more. Do you really think Brady and the pats will let Brady be suspended without a huge fight?? Those hoping he will be severely punished this season should get a grip.. those thinking that there will be no punishment or maybe a fine are not in a real world frame of mind.. NO ONE WILL BE HAPPY.. and the Courts will ultimately get involved…

    I have my opinion on what happened, how sever it was, and what punishment should be applied if any.. but why beat the drums here.. we all know this has been on lynchmob mentality… that does not mean it should be swept under the rug.. but wow the outrage is well beyond Greg Hardy and even the Ray Rice issue… We need to put this into perspective but we cant do that when a lynch mob swarms this and other articles. Remember the Wells report said More Likely than not… which means there is wiggle room even if you want to disagree.

    My expectation 1-2 years in Court, Brady retires before punishment can be imposed.. unfair.. yea.. but most likely the reality giving the nuances of the matter and the lack of cold hard facts that need to be argued one by one in a Court if one side ot the other is unhappy.

    Expect the Pats to make some claims against the Colts GM as well… seems he was angling for his own advantage and has yet to be called out.

    This is going to get very very messy.

  128. To all the Patriots fans who are comparing this to a legal case and how Tom would have protected rights you need to stop right now. This is not a legal case, the NFL is there own body, does their own investigations and levees their own punishment. But stop being hypocritical, if you want to treat it like a legal case Brady would be required to turn in his phone as evidence and we all know that would not be good for time, you can’t have it both ways, if you want it treated like a legal case Tom would have problems

  129. So many here praying Brady gets suspended so they don’t get embarrassed yet again by him hah. Even if it happens, it will be a game or two and he’ll come back only angrier and wanting to prove that much more. Can’t wait for the 40-50 point difference smack down he lays on teams this year.

  130. I think it is naive in the extreme to think Brady would have had ANY incriminating information on his phone. What kind of moron saves stuff like that? And once the investigation started he’d have definitely wiped the phone if he has any sense at all and hadn’t done that yet.

    Of course, a wiped phone would be incriminating in a circumstantial way itself but less so than texts between himself and the deflator.

  131. Aaron Rodgers exact quote from a Milwaukee Radio Station interview in regards to his preference of over inflating footballs above the league minimum.

    “The majority of people don’t like throwing brand-new footballs, and that’s why the change was made and Peyton was big on helping all the quarterbacks out with that,” Rodgers said. “But if they’re going to let us prep them the way we want them, I don’t believe they should be able to take air out of the footballs.”

    What does it show that QBs are going to be quiet on this topic when asked about Brady and unfortunately understand that Brady and NE once again will take the fall for all other QBs and Teams because a team blows the whistle on one team who wins all the time and not on the teams that don’t.

    Yes Brady was lobbying with Peyton for the above reason mentioned by Rodgers but that was because all QBs felt the same way Manning and Brady felt. Rodgers is flat out saying it “But if they’re going to let us prep them the way we want them, I don’t believe they should be able to take air out of the footballs.” In his case he’s telling the NFL and refs don’t touch my balls after my team (equipment managers) has prepped them.

    Tell me the difference….someone tell me the difference and there is a reason Manning and other QBs don’t want comment because they have been doing exactly what Rodgers stated and that is no different than Brady.


  132. I think you’re right on Florio. Give him the choice of not playing until he submits his phone. If he chooses not to or “accidentally loses” it, he’s out for a year. Freaking cheater.

  133. “How could the league justify suspending Blount for the game based on something completely unrelated to the game and not suspend Brady

    Lack of proof.”

    The terms of the substance abuse policy are set in stone and were bargained. That’s why players rarely, if ever, win those. When the LOB were suspended for using steroids, only one got off on a technicality that cast some doubt on the result (that was Sherman).

    When something is bargained there is little room to argue unless the NFL goes beyond the policy (like the Peterson and Rice cases).

    In this case there is a scheduled fine of $25k, with a precedent of (wait for it) doing nothing, that is both recent and clear in the case of the Vikings and Panthers. There was no $5 million dollar investigation about who “ordered” the attendants to heat the balls. The NFL simply issued a warning to teams, and moved on.

    But, as this thread shows, there is a host of jealous fans, petty owners, etc, who want to see more than that for Brady.

    Don’t fool yourself. Your reaction has nothing to do with Brady and everything to do with the fact that your team doesn’t win. That’s it. It hurts. We get it. Everyone wants to win Superbowls, but only a few great teams do. Some truly great teams win many.

    But that doesn’t mean you have the legal power to flip the checkerboard.

    Even if Goodell tries for something more substantial than a modest fine, he is basically hemmed in by how he’s treated like offenses in recent history.

    That means $50k (at most) for the phone, $25k (or nothing) for the balls. And that is if the judge buys Wells’ leaky hit job of a report! They will, imo, just overturn the entire thing, because it’s weak.

  134. Why isn’t anyone talking about a suspension for Belicheat? This happened on his watch, Payton and Loomis got suspended because Bounty Gate happened on their watch and the league said “they should have known!”

  135. Don’t need to read your paragraphs defending the Pats because I read every page of the report and unlike many of you have passed the bar .

    Brady is clearly at fault and many of you just can’t comprehend the language in the report. It will be 6-10 games and the NFLPA will not be able to do anything but delay court porceedings. Despite it not changing the game significantly Brady lied to Goodell and entire NFL fan base.

    He should retire w his tarnished ring and enjoy life

  136. To openfield tackle,

    Yes, everyone seems to assume that 31 owners want the Pats whacked and Brady off the field. I doubt that. Might be true of 6-8 coaches of teams that cannot seem to beat the Patriots — above all the Colts. But the owners are not likely to want a prolonged legal war between the top QB in the league and the NFL itself, especially since that could result in courts curtailing NFL powers even more than courts already have.

    Also, whose interest is it to have Brady off the field for game one — or for all of New England to hate and resent the League?

    Of course, money interests alone should not determine this. But I suspect caution could set in a bit about suspending Brady with no chance to present his side more fully prior to the decision from the League, because otherwise we are all headed to court. The Wells report re Brady specifically reads like a speculative criminal indictment — but without any chance for cross-examination or presentation of Brady’s side of things. It was not even written in a way that gave Brady much chance to offer his interpretations, and it never, ever, says he called for anyone to deflate balls under 12.5. Pretty telling — and very thin gruel.

    Finally, am I mistaken to think that if a draconian punishment for Brady goes down, he could go to court and ask for an injunction? Courts have granted those in various NFL cases already, with less going for the complaining player than would be true here. Maybe he will be on the field for game one after all.

  137. Patriots fans just don’t like the light being on them when it’s a Dark one…. Man if it were 60td passes & 6,000 yds they’d be all over it….. You hate this because things are not REALLY what you thought they were

  138. “To all the Patriots fans who are comparing this to a legal case and how Tom would have protected rights you need to stop right now. This is not a legal case, the NFL is there own body, does their own investigations and levees their own punishment. ”

    Umm ok. So, Vilma, Rice, Peterson, Hargrove … those weren’t legal cases?

    All of those suspensions were vacated suspensions by a neutral arbitrator or a judge.

    Any time the NFL tries to deprive a player or coach of a paycheck it’s a “legal” case. The only people who have any real impediment in lawsuits are owners.

    Get with it dude. It IS a legal case. The NFL cannot issue a warning to one team/player for something and then suspend another guy because he “likely had general awareness” of something that “probably happened.”

    The y might try to appease fans who dislike Brady more than they dislike the Vikings and Panthers.

    But they won’t succeed. It will be a legal case in that instance, and it will be an easy win for Brady and the NFLPA based on the prejudice of the NFL and the self serving (bowing to jealous fans) results of the inquiry.

  139. You folks might not like Brady (jealousy) but you can not suspend him without hard proof… And you have none!!!!

  140. ravensbob says:
    May 10, 2015 9:56 AM
    Like paterno, take away their wins since 2008 including trophies.
    They reinstated those wins and trophies!!!

    To the people who think Pete Rose Cheated:

    HE DID NOT CHEAT…. he was banned for life because he was gambling on Baseball…. but what got lost in that scandal is that he never ever bet AGAINST the Cincinnati Reds.. that is what made his banning excessive and why people to this day think Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose Deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as his on field performance and his actions as a team-mate made the Reds back in those days.. he was a great player! Before you disrespect Pete Rose again KNOW your facts. He was NOT a cheater. People of my generation who were able to watch him on the field know how good he was.

  141. Two major League-tarnishing scandals involving multiple team personnel shows me this is an organization that rots from the top down. What it needs is a League-appointed monitor/observer embedded with the team to make sure no more funny business goes on, since those serial cheaters obviously can’t police themselves.

  142. restoreintegritytonfl says:
    May 10, 2015 10:20 AM

    The patriots fumble data does not lie:

    2000-06: one fumble per 42 touches

    2007-14: one fumble per 74 touches

    The switch came after a rule change Brady lobbied for in 2006. It’s not coincidence. And don’t believe patriot lies. This data is accurate!!!

    This is exactly right.

    And it’s why Belichick should be suspended a year with him.

    No one knows what the Bills’, err I mean the Pats’, success would have been without serial cheating.

  143. 43 percent saying Brady should be banned for more than four games.

    Which also means 57 percent don’t.

  144. Hey Pats’ fans, get a clue.

    This is not a criminal case – though another Pat, Hernandez, was convicted off of circumstantial evidence.

    This is not even a civil case which requires a lower level of proof – it’s why OJ won his criminal trial but lost his civil suit.

    This is an internal NFL investigation and you lose regardless of how much you whine.

    You remind of Brady whenever a defender gets close and he runs to the refs and screams like a little girl.

    Your victories are tainted and at least Brady will be suspended.


  145. The NFL is hypocritical and has been for years

    They market DVDs with hard hits then ignore the long term effects of concussions.

    They talk about player safety then schedule games four days apart.

    They talk about integrity then lie about who and when they saw the elevator video.

    The NFL is not about integrity it is about 3 things,

    Money, money, and money

    They have a whole TV network that needs content. They have a website that needs content.
    And they are working to get into the billion dollar Fantasy Football arena.
    The NFL knew when they changed the rule about the footballs that this kind of stuff was happening. They didn’t care because they love offense they love highlights and big stats.

    Now they are wagging their finger at Brady all self righteously. Please.

  146. It is not a legal case but using your “logic” let’s say it is a legal case, and guess what happens in a legal case, Brady’s phone gets submitted as evidence

  147. damcmp says:
    May 10, 2015 11:18 AM
    You folks might not like Brady (jealousy) but you can not suspend him without hard proof… And you have none!!!!

    Unfortunately for you and your idol, yes they can.

  148. The ‘baseline’ is what the Vikings and Panthers got for tampering with footballs. Ahem … nothing. That was just months ago. Another instructive equipment penalty could be the baseline from what the Chargers got for using sticky towels and refusing to turn them over, that was $25,000, and they changed a rule to say no sticky towels, because they are just like stickum. Oh a nice baseline for non-compliance with an investigation would be that case, which was $25k, or the Favre case, which was a $50k fine for refusing to turn over a phone. You guys are nuts if you think the NFLPA is going to stand by while one guy is singled out for over-the-top punishment because a bunch of other people don’t like that he knocked their team out of the playoffs.

    wow, this dude nailed it.

  149. damcmp: You are so very,very wrong on so many levels.Most of us do not hate or dislike Brady,we just think he has cheated other teams out of possible play off’s and possibly a SB.And for the 100th time: More Probable Than Not Meets NFL Standards For Punishment,Period !!

  150. Tom Brady’s cellphone is a lose/lose/lose for Brady in all scenarios.

    1. Brady submits his PERSONAL cell phone t Wells. Any personal communication with his wife, parents, friends, stockbroker, etc., could (and probably would) become public knowledge through NFL leaks to the media.
    Brady LOSES.

    2. Brady and his attorney forward all messesages concerning the NFL to Wells (as Wells requested). Messages are found that “incriminate” Brady, Belichick, and Patriots. Brady LOSES.
    If nothing “incriminating” is found, Wells purports that not all messages
    were forwarded and that Brady is guilty.
    Brady LOSES.

    3. Brady refuses access to his cellphone and any messages therein. Our current situation.
    Brady LOSES.

    Brady’s all day interview with Wells must not have pleased Wells since none of it was included in the “infallible” Wells Report.

  151. Maybe they are finding deeper findings back in the past. Hang it up Brady while you still have your health before they Pete Rose you.

  152. The stupidest thing in all of this is that, like Spygate, the benefit of any of this would have been negligible. Perhaps even only a placebo.

    All this risk with such little reward.

    Brady’s biggest violation is stupidity. He should be suspended a year for THAT! LOL

  153. Can’t wait for this to get to a neutral arbitrator, in which he will tear this report to shreds. He will then turn to wells and ask him to do an investigation into how GOODELL can make 40 million dollars a year, when he’s an imbecile, and couldn’t carry out an investigation properly. All you trolls will be crying over your Cheerios when this report is looked upon as the garbage that it is, and BRADY gets nothing. It’s truly laughable how the Trolls will latch onto any fiber they can, because BRADY has decimated their team. In TB AND HOODIE WE TRUST.

  154. “It is not a legal case but using your “logic” let’s say it is a legal case, and guess what happens in a legal case, Brady’s phone gets submitted as evidence”

    No. The phase about whether something happened or not is over.

    A court isn’t going to get into whether anything happened, though “legally” if they did, this wouldn’t make it past an exposition of evidence. The NFL cannot even prove damages, because it lacks records of the measurements before the game. Give me a break. Go to a judge and tell them that money was stolen from under your mattress, but you have no record of how much was there. See how it flies.

    The legal case (again refer to Vilma, et al, Hargrove, Rice, Peterson) is about whether the NFL can all of a sudden decide that something that merits no penalty (messing with footballs, see Vikings and Panthers) all of a sudden requires a $5.5 million dollar investigation, fines and suspensions.

    It’s singling one union member out for special penalties based on what? Public perception? Lol. Not … good… enough.

    The NFL never wins these cases — even a week ago the Missouri Supreme court basically stated that penalties and decisions by Goodell are all essentially invalid because he is paid by the league and does things in the interest of owners and a paycheck. He’s not a neutral arbitrator in labor relations.

    Vastly increasing the penalties in this one case based on public reaction is exactly that.

    The history (twice in the last five seasons) is $50k for obstruction [$50k for Favre in 2010 with a decision to reduce Hargrove’s 7 game suspension to nothing in 2011 based on that Favre precedent, and then a reaffirmation of the SAME precedent by the NFL itself when it fined the Chargers $25k for not turning over the stickum towels in 2013].

    The history of equipment tampering is a warning, and at most $25k in the rule book. In both the Vikings/ Panthers cases from 2015 this was set. In the Chargers’ stickum vilation it was also set. These are set in stone. The NFL, through its previous decisions have boxed themselves in the corner.

    Anything greater than those penalties demonstrates clear malice and prejudice against Brady.

    THAT’S THE LEGAL CASE. Not whether Tom did it or didn’t do it.

    IOW, he can’t just suspend Brady because he hurt your feels when he knocked your team out of the playoffs and not suspend (or investigate) the Vikings’ and Panthers’ players because they are poor or mediocre teams that no one cares about.

    You (opposing fans) don’t get to decide that Brady should be punished harder because he’s Brady. It doesn’t work that way. Goody might try to throw you a bone, but the NFLPA will snatch it right back.

    Legally, the best they can probably do is a small monetary fine, ~$75k, and an adjustment to the rules based on future incidents. Anything else is a clear case of singling one guy out based on prejudice and malice.

    If you don’t believe me thumb through Tagliabue’s decision to vacate Goodell’s punishments of Vilma, Hargrove, or Doty’s decision in the Peterson case, or the Rice case when Barbara Jones argued that the NFL doesn’t have the power to increase penalties and apply them retroactively.

    None of that has anything to do with Brady’s cellphone. It has to do with the fair application of set fines (nothing in the case of the Vikings and Panthers to $25k in the schedule of fines) or the $50k that Tagliabue himself already established as the limit of the NFL’s ability to fine a person for obstruction.

    The NFL cannot go beyond those numbers without entering into a legal fight where they have to prove why this is substantially different from using stickum towels, heating balls (which decreases pressure and makes them soft) or withholding the stickum towels or withholding a cellphone. Those are the standards. Not make believe ones that originate in a dark place where people want Brady fined harder because he threw that TD that knocked their team out of the playoffs.

  155. Patriots will try to bully the NFL. Lies and deception is their calling card. Cheaters…that’s just who they are. Repeat offenders…you bet.

  156. If he appeals he has to turn over text messages,or they may not even consider his appeal.That is according to the appeals process.He has to turn over any and all pertinent info to the offense.

  157. Yeah, let’s ruin TB’s legacy because he (as well as other QB’s),
    made his inflation preference known. When that’s over and done, we’ll still have Goodell and the “League of Denial”. (Check out the Frontline expose)

    Well done, Roger

  158. For the players that play by the rules seeing Brady always getting treated better than they are and then to see that he’s cheated all along has to be a terrible feeling for them.

  159. Tom Brady was part of an orchestrated conspiracy with Patriots Equipment Personnel over a period of years to circumvent NFL rules and play with footballs under the inflation guidelines of the league. One of the people in question called himself “the deflator” and he received sports memorabilia directly from Tom Brady for his deflation tactics. Tom Brady did not cooperate fully with the NFL in their investigation. These are facts established by the NFL under their standard of proof. As such, he should be suspended for a minimum of one year without pay and fined.

    Bill Belichick has run one of the tightest organizations in NFL history. He runs it all, is “all knowing” and is seen as a sort of football god by nearly everyone. He exhibited a total and complete “lack of institutional control” during this entire multi-year conspiracy. As such, he should be suspended for a minimum of one year without pay if not banned indefinitely. (See penalties handed down to the Saints GM and Head Coach in regards to a sham “conspiracy” where not ONE SINGLE PLAYER was ever injured as a result of an illegal hit and the NFL constantly talked about 50,000 pages of “evidence” but only had a note written on a napkin.)

    The Patriots should be docked one first round draft choice for every year in which they under-inflated footballs. and fined one million dollars per year such activity took place.

    Robert Kraft should be fined personally, be removed from any special ownership committees for five years and should be forced to apologize to the league, the fans and to his own team.

  160. As a Patriots and Brady fan I was initially disappointed in the news of the wells report until I read it myself and then listened to the interviews with Bradys agent/lawyer. After hearing that his cooperation was a full day interview. Interviewed by a team who hadn’t had that much football experience, whose interview appeared to be the last at the end of the investigation. His lawyer has said it appeared that they had their minds made up based off of the questioning. As far as the phone goes, well if privacy was the case, then why would they put in the report about the employee who had the 50k yard ball. What implications of that story has anything to do with the investigation. Other than it throws the employee under the bus for lying to his family about having the 50k yard ball, potentially. Given Bradys stature along with his wife’s and children i wouldn’t freely hand over my cell phone to anyone.This investigation had more leaks in it so was it that hard to trust his personal photos and data wouldn’t leak? Had there been no Mortenson story and splashes of bits pieces reflective of the story hadn’t been leaked, then yes.

    The NFL will have to suspend themselves for breaking their own rules by knowing a full day ahead that the colts had raised a concern and the NFL did NOTHING to protect the integrity of the game. The NFLs failure to ensure that in a championship game was fair is a direct failure on the chain of command with the key tool in their game. Had they fully document the PSI at the start of the game there asses would be protected. Even after they found balls to be under inflated they didn’t do anything to protect the integrity but not full documenting the balls PSI. They even admitted that the colts balls were not blown up even though several weighed under legal on one of their gauges. While the root cause is still on the patriots nowhere in their investigation had Brady said he wanted them under the legal allowed 12.5. The complaints in the report show he complained when the balls were rocks and found to have been at 16 psi. Which shows that if that is the case someone is not ensuring the balls are legal. The NFL should have triggered an independent investigation with a firm that has no ties to them or the teams. They should also make sure their protecting the games integrity throughout the process. Instead they are more worried about spectacles lately then the games itself

  161. Someone should ask the people who actually let air out of the balls what would have happened to them had they declined to do it.

  162. Maybe Brady had already deleted everything so he had nothing he could have turned in.

  163. On the Monday after, Brady should have said that he “likes the balls a little under inflated. Sometimes the refs catch it and inflate them and sometimes they don’t. My buddy Aaron in Greenbay likes ’em just the opposite.”

  164. Goodell has made the NFL very profitable for the owners but this may be the turning point for this to become WWF!
    Prove that you don’t favor what is perceived as a favorite with Kraft.
    You don’t want the following to take place:

    NFL = WWF = without integrity = predetermined winners

    Tom Brady, no matter the suspension, is extremely and already tarnished. If Goodell and the NFL go soft, then problems other than Tom Brady will be the result. The fairness and integrity of the game cannot be compromised. Tom Brady is not worth it. He won’t cooperate and is making himself look like someone who is hiding something. Goodell will have to slap him down hard. He has no choice. But we are talking about Goodell.

    Do I think Brady is guilty? Yes. Did I have anything against him prior to this? No. I thought he was a great QB, now I’m not so sure anymore.

  165. We need to find common ground that Pats’ fans and the rest of us can agree on then we go from there.

    1. Pats are serial cheaters after being caught not once but twice.

    That can’t be argued.

    2. If your offense and defense knew the other teams plays before the snap like the Pats did via Spygate is a huge advantage.

    That can’t be argued.

    3. Cutting fumbles in half by deflating the ball like the Pats have done is a huge advantage.

    That can’t be argued.

    4. Both 2 and 3 above is illegal.

    That can’t be argued.

    5. Despite protests that it’s common practice and the idea Bellichick is a genius, the Pats are the only team to be caught, not once but twice.

    Again, that’s factual.

    6. Brady lied in the interview before the Superbowl – flat out lied as did Kraft when he asked for an apology.

    Now that we have common ground, proceed.

  166. If they suspend Brady, then let’s suspend Aaron Rodgers for 8 games as well since he admitted to playing with OVER-INFLATED footballs? This is pathetic. There is no standard the NFL uses for PSI inflation. It’s left to the DISCRETION of each QB how they want the football and how inflated they want it? Aaron Rodgers is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you honestly think that if you checked EVERY OTHER QB and the inflation rates of their footballs that you’d find every one between 12.5 and 13.5? If you do, I have some swamp land in Kansas to sell you. Why doesn’t the NFL interview other QBs and check the inflation rates of footballs from other games not involving the Patriots if they really want to get to the bottom of this. Or do they really not give a damn if it doesn’t involve the Patriots? This entire thing is a disgrace and I hope Brady sues the NFL for defamation of character. And there is no smoking gun that shows he told the ballboys to take a needle to the footballs after they were approved.

  167. I liked Tom Brady because he seemed like a good guy and I’m not looking at this other than someone who does not watch football. I’ve followed him as a celebrity married to a supermodel wife, not as a football player. I’ve just been fascinated by this whole scandal and couldn’t believe he’d do something like this. I’ve been following along and reading a lot and this is my take:

    The fumble stats from 2006 when this rule change took place says to me as a thinking person that something fishy has been going on for years. From reading it seems that softer or lower pressure balls are easier to hold on to in cold weather. So if something has been going on for years, how many close games did other teams lose that if they’d won they’d maybe had a chance to go to the SB? Really may have been disastrous to other teams.

    The emails between Brady and the Deflator and the other ball boy, shows something was going on.
    He was giving gifts of signed Patriot stuff to these guys which seems like a payoff to me. He lied and said he didn’t know them and then was burning up the phone lines texting them after the news broke.

    Brady given the choice to turn over his phone to his attorney and have all non-relevant texts hidden (so NO they wouldn’t have been leaked to the public) but everything else released and he still said no tells me he’s hiding something. Think about it folks. He had legal counsel that told him it was better not to release his communications and take the punishment for non-cooperation than turn over the phone. WHY? There had to be something on there that indicted him no matter how much Patriot fans want to deny it.

    They don’t need solid proof to punish him for cheating. This is not a legal case where they need “beyond a reasonable doubt” but this is like a civil case where there is a preponderance of evidence. That is all that is needed in a civil case to find someone guilty and that’s all the NFL needs. The NFL actually changed beyond a reasonable double to preponderance of evidence because of the Patriots and their Spygate scandal. Not good. Don’t believe me? Google it.

    The NFL will punish him and Belichick should be punished along with him. As in the Sean Payton case (which I learned about in researching this one) Payton was suspended for a whole year with supposedly no knowledge of what was going on. The NFL said ignorance is no excuse. The same should apply here.

    Tom Brady is handsome, charming and is a great quarterback BUT now his reputation will always be tarnished. No matter how much Patriot fans deny it, to everyone else he’ll always have asterisks over his wins and that is really sad.

  168. If you believed anything was fishy about the fumble stats, you are a complete moron. TOTAL FUMBLES, the patriots are like 4th-5th. They are extremely good at recovering their own fumbles. That was the most ridiculous “statistical analysis” ever. Lets change variables to suit what we want to see then bill those results as something completely different.

    Brady shouldn’t be punished in light of the findings of the pressure gauge discrepancies. Wells purely fabricated findings that led to them ignoring Walt Andersons statement that he used the gauge that would indicate no tampering.

  169. Brady created the entire mess.

    He orchestrated the cheating scandal.

    His dishonesty lead to a wasteful $5M investigation.

    A one year suspension without pay and a $5M fine is perfectly reasonable.

    Get it done Roger.

  170. terrier92 says:
    May 10, 2015 8:32 AM
    Brady is to nice a kid however when he accepts Lombardi trophy next February I would love to see him tell Goddell to shove it.
    You just don’t get it do you. “NICE” people are honest, and they have values that don’t allow them to CHEAT. Ever.

    Brady has proven the “nice guy” image was a lie. Hard to swallow for NE fans I know. Folks believed Nixon at one time…and Armstrong…And Palmero.

    In time Brady can rehabilitate his image some, but the image of him lying to millions before the SB will never be erased. Once proven a liar you’re a liar forever. That’s why honesty is so important. Tom didn’t value his public image, for if he had, once caught he’d have fessed up. He was given every opportunity to tell the truth. He chose not too. He obviously felt he was too big to suspend, much like banks think they’re too big to fail and not be bailed out by the gov’t. Too much Ego…knocking Brady’s ego down several notches could be the best thing for him, AND for the NFL.

  171. thingamajig says:
    May 10, 2015 11:32 AM
    43 percent saying Brady should be banned for more than four games.

    Which also means 57 percent don’t.
    So you’re either a fan boy or couldn’t figure out many believe Brady should get a YEAR minimum. Which is it?

  172. Patswhatsup so you resort to name calling (MORON) when you don’t agree with someone or you can’t stand someone calling out your golden boy. It still doesn’t change the facts does it?

  173. patswhatsup says:
    May 10, 2015 5:12 PM

    If you believed anything was fishy about the fumble stats, you are a complete moron. TOTAL FUMBLES, the patriots are like 4th-5th

    This is just factually untrue and these kind of comments are why we all laugh at you.

    2006 (before rule change) Pats #22 in the league in fumbles, not fumbles lost (with #1 being fewest)

    2007 (after deflating balls) Pats #1 in fewest fumbles.

    Between 2003 and 2006 Pats were NEVER in the top 10 in terms of fewest fumbles with the best being 12.

    Between 2007 and last year, Pats have been in the top 5 every year but 1.

    Again, these are fumbles, not fumbles lost.

    Meanwhile the other top teams come and go.

    Your team cheats.

  174. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk2014asterisk says:
    May 10, 2015 8:16 AM
    Montana never had to cheat.

    As far as we know…. But his hall of fame teammate WR jerry rice did and admitted to it. Innocent until proven guilty, and the Wells report fails to prove actual guilt. There’s no video of him knocking out a girlfriend, no evidence he beat his kid with a stick and no failed drug test. You have a bunch of maybes. This was a witch hunt from the start. People hate the Patriots and Tom Brady for the same reason they hate the NY Yankees or Lebron James. They’re successful. No proof of any wrong doing. When has there ever been an investigation done that has been this flawed. This report comes to it’s own conclusion on key evidence even after the ref states he didn’t remember. There has never been another investigation into an equipment violation that resulted in a suspension. No one from the chargers were suspended in 2012 when they were caught using sticky towels to rub down balls. Just a fine. With no proof of wrong doing how can you now suspend a player? Colts lost the game period. And Seahawks were thrown on all day by Brady with fully inflated balls. If it wasn’t Tom and the Patriots this story would have gone unnoticed by all of America.

  175. By the way, the two “researchers” who supposedly debunked the fumble data, Mathews and Lopez, both admit they’re huge Patriot fans, don’t deny the numbers but just claim they’re not relevant.


  176. That Brady refused to turn over his phone, especially in light of the fact that he was offered to have his people image and search the data in his phone suggests he has something to hide, perhaps more than protecting only himself.

  177. Whether he gets suspended or not, it’ll be over when it’s all done and over with. Maybe the phone has incriminating proof, who cares. The League already has deemed he cheated, and will suspend him.

    After that, he comes back and plays. And we’ll all still wonder what’s on the phone, not that it proved something fishy went on.

  178. I’d laugh my ass off if Brady gets suspended and Garropolo comes in and goes undefeated as starting QB until Tom returns.

    That would piss all you haters off and remember if Matt Cassel can take NE to within 1 game of the playoffs,Garropolo appears able to keep the fort down when/if Brady sits for a few weeks.

  179. The classy thing to do is not not dig dirt on urself by fighting the NFL and look like a lying geek when he hadda kno they were deflated.he had the ball in his hands every play.he’s guilty.take it and shut up

  180. The penalty for obstruction needs to be harsh enough to act as a disincentive for the obstruction (mainly because more people would cheat if they knew the penalty for covering up would be much less than that for the original crime).

    In other words, the person being punished must see it as the better option to have cooperated in the first place. I also don’t think they should offer any kind of deal for finally deciding to cooperate as that would undermine the purpose.

  181. The author is incorrect regarding NFL personnel providing cell phones for the Ray Rice investigation.
    NFL personnel only provided corporate phone, computer, tablets etc. In another report I read earlier it was definitive that NO NFL persons relinquished any PERSONAL devices nor were they asked to. So your argument does not hold water in regard to Brady giving up his phone. There are also plenty of reports why he shouldn’t have. In any case, any text messages between Brady and Mcnally or Jazstemski would have appeared on their phones anyway. Which one exchange did where Jazstemski states to TB don’t worry you did nothing wrong Bud. The other exchanges between Mcnally and Jaz were admittedly by the Wells report as attempts at humor. However to complete the Wells report narrative and expected outcome they were still admitted.

  182. The idea that’s even in the same ballpark as roids is laugable. 2 games max. Also the league knew this “scandal” was going on for quite some time before the quasi sting operation. If the league though the activity was that damaging they’d have done something about it before the playoffs even started.

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