The NFL didn’t wait long to digest the Ted Wells report, and issue its findings.
As punishment for the Patriots’ “more probable than not” tampering with footballs, the league has suspended quarterback Tom Brady four games, fined the team $1 million and taken away their first-round picks in 2016 and fourth-rounder in 2017.
The league was careful to note that the punishment was for the violation itself but also the “failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation,” and that Brady’s suspension was for “conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL.”
Brady may participate in the offseason, training camp and preseason games, but pending appeal, will miss games against the Steelers, Bills, Jaguars and Cowboys.
“We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in the league’s statement. “We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.”
That’s a huge penalty, and one which will certainly spark appeals, and much discussion in Boston and elsewhere.