Did Patriots’ response to Wells report violate league rules?

As the ever-evolving #DeflateGate story continues to dominate the NFL headlines (which is bad for the league) and overshadow the postseason of two other major sports (which is good for the league), the latest twist relates to the possibility that the Patriots committed a separate rules violation with Thursday’s lengthy rebuttal to the Ted Wells report.

Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post quotes via Twitter language in the NFL’s Constitution regarding public criticism of the league by member clubs. The quote posted by Hubbuch, however, isn’t complete.

Here’s the full language of Article 9.1(C)(4), which provides that teams shall not “[p]ublicly criticize any member club or its management, personnel, employees, or coaches and/or any football official employed by the league.” The provision then requires that “[a]ll complaints or criticism in respect to the foregoing shall be made to the Commissioner only and shall not be publicized directly or indirectly.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, the rule in question prohibits teams from publicly criticizing other teams or league officials. Thursday’s missive from the Patriots represented criticism of an independent investigator who is not connected to any team or the league office.

It’s still dangerous territory for the Patriots, since the aggressive, public criticism of Wells could eventually become aggressive, public criticism of other teams or of persons employed by the league. And it could be that the NFL has opted to remind folks in the media of this language the morning after the NFL alerted the media through a cascade of leaks that Commissioner Roger Goodell will be handling the appeal of Tom Brady’s suspension.

With the Patriots in full-blown attack mode, it’s possible that they’ll sound off about the Commissioner’s decision to handle the appeal himself without considering the consequences of doing so.

139 responses to “Did Patriots’ response to Wells report violate league rules?

  1. Say goodbye to the rest of your draft picks for the next two years. Salary cap penalty as well. #dropthehammer

  2. At some point, Goodell should really start to take stock in what he is doing.

    Kraft isn’t like Snyder or Jones, he actually carries weight with the owners. While the other teams may not agree with Kraft right now, there is going to be some other scandal coming down the pipe any day now, and how is Goodell going to fare when he chief ally pulls his support.

  3. If the NFL can send an inaccurate letter to the Patriots stating one ball measured 10.1 PSI and allow a firestorm to follow, then NE can do whatever the hell it wants to this sham of a commissioner.

  4. “Thursday’s missive from the Patriots represented criticism of an independent investigator who is not connected to any team or the league office.”
    ******************
    It’s been clear from the start that the Pats through that idiot agent for Brady, Don Yee, have openly violated the criticism rule by proxy. Now, Kraft has decided that this is war and to hell with the rulebook.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens along those lines. Meanwhile, Dr. Jykyll and Mr. Hyde (Brady) continues to hideout, leaving his answer to the question, “are you a cheater” and answer “I don’t think so” lingering in the air.

  5. When you think about it, while teams compete against each other, these are not independent outfits. They are franchises. It is like the owner of a McDonald’s location putting up a website publicly criticizing the McDonald’s Corporation. I would guess there are contractual rules and fierce protections to prevent and severely punish this sort’ve thing.

  6. Did you guys see, the 2012 Olympic relay team were stripped of their medals… Sucks. Apparently Tyson Gay got caught brady’ing and they all were punished for it

  7. Here is why I know the pats are guilty: They are maniacal. Perfect example is the efforts to give plausible explanation the “deflator” nickname and the “going to ESPN” remark. They should have just left that out of the rebute. The fact that have to contest everything, however strange, shows they have no brake when it comes to winning and will not stop until they get every little advantage. This is perhaps why they usually win on the field, and sometimes are losing off it. The macro is always in the micro.

  8. The Pats just don’t know when to shut up – if they start attacking more teams I could expect another $500k-$1m fine, and maybe another draft pick lost (hopefully a 2nd or 3rd rounder in 2016).

  9. Why don’t they just shut up? To paraphrase an old adage, “if people think you’re cheating, sometimes it’s better to keep quiet than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  10. Kraft and Belichick need lifetime bans. All they do is cheat every week for 15 years. This isn’t new behavior from this organization. They stonewall every question and laugh at their faces.

    All other owners should be outraged at this continuous behavior and vote Kraft out. The Pats are a perennial bottom dweller since Belichick rein of terror should be thrown in the trash with their accomplishments. All he does is cheat, lie, and win fake stuff. I feel bad for the players that wish they weren’t there but not the one that love it.

  11. Goodell can fight this battle in a number of ways, but i don’t see him winning u any

  12. In France… Tour de France winning cyclists who were found to be cheating had their cheating victories erased from the record books.

    It’s sad that America has sunk so low.

    Thanks, new england.

  13. More leaks from the NFL?

    Tell me again why Tom Brady should have handed over his personal communications to the ever reliable to leak information NFL?

    This is especially funny given their edict to the Patriots regarding the actual air pressure of the balls when finally, two months later, giving the information to the Patriots.

    Fire Goodell.

  14. I can’t wait for the two guys the Pats fired to go on their TV tour and expose the Patriots for the frauds they are.

  15. This whole fiasco shows that many rules and the CBA need to be changed

    Goodell is not unbiased

  16. The Patri*ts just don’t get it and probably never will.

    The culture of cheating in their organization has clouded their judgement so much that they actually believe the BS they are trying to feed the country.

    Seriously? The nickname “Deflator” means weight loss?

    LMAO !!!!!!!

  17. They criticized their own employee by calling him fat. The Patriots as an organization should have kept their mouths shut. I don’t think any of this is going to help Brady’s appeal.

  18. kraft was obviously aware of this rule when they bought a separate domain for the missive, totally distinct from their team website.

    aside from the flying elvis logo at the top, there’s no mention of the author(s) or sponsor(s). and the lawyerly language carefully avoids first person we/i and consistently refers to the team as the patriots.

    it also levels no overt “criticisms” though many will interpret pointing out colts violations and additional avenues worthy of league investigation as being inherently critical.

    both of these knuckleheads think they can maintain an appearance of “arms length” (goodell by appointing wells and kraft by registering a $10 domain) while both bear the heavy hand of the man at the end of a very short arm.

    or maybe it was published by mona lisa vito?

  19. I would not classify what the Patriots have been doing recently as being in “attack mode”.
    Better definitions would be as being in:::
    Full blown whining mode.
    Full blown ridiculous lying mode
    Full blown imaginary stories mode.
    Full blown embarrassing themselves mode.

    Kraft is digging himself a deeper and deeper hole and is making the other 31 owners madder and madder with his ridiculously stupid explanations, threats and lies PR campaign

  20. I’m still stunned that the Patriots would think people would believe their excuse for why the guy was named the Deflator.

  21. Digging that hole deeper makes NE look even worse. I’d like to see a vote to remove their franchise in NE and make Kraft have to sell. Al Davis must be crowing with delight and a few other expletives from his tales from the crypt. patriots are thumbing their nose at the establishment worse than ever now. The al Davis rule is there to prevent a franchise from going rogue. How about not only remove them from the NFL, vacate the Super Bowl wins too.

  22. Notice that Tedy Bruschi hasn’t been on ESPN since his tantrum to Woody last week on the air. maybe he quit and now the de facto Bagdad Bob reporting from 1 espionage place

  23. I’m sure the Masters of the Loophole will find a way to squeeze out of yet another jam and cause the NFL to tighten its rules once again.

  24. If true, and who knows after blog after blog of reports, counter reports, what’s the truth–maybe Kraft should be forced to sell the team and get on with his late in life partying and young women. Enjoy life Robert, let the Patriots return to elite franchise status.

  25. What rules? The NFL is a joke… The NFL has ‘rules’ but they are just to say they have them… they don’t follow them.

  26. The Patriots are doing the absolutely right thing. It is called telling the truth. When this case gets into the courts, now assured because Goodell has decided he will be the judge and jury, it will not be pretty for the NFL.

  27. As a Patriots fan….I believe a lot of the arguments made on that website make good points…..however they might have been better off not touching the ‘deflator’ comment.

    As biased as I am, even I’m having a hard time buying that argument.

  28. Kraft thinks he and the patriots are bigger than the league. I won’t be sad if they are put in their place.

  29. *************************************
    CHEATIES – The Breakfast of Deflators
    *************************************

  30. “A cascade of leaks” to announce Goodell is handling Brady’s appeal. Absolutely perfect!! This is the way Goodell’s office is run, via leak,
    Unprofessional and embarrassing!!!!

  31. The Patriots sound like they hired Slippin’ Jimmy as their lawyer. Almost next to no credibility to their arguments and some of the statements are absurd.

    Good thing they have Willie Mcginest and Tedy Bruschi to blindly support them because the reset of the world doesn’t.

    ****

  32. The current CBA states that commish can choose to hear the appeal or give to another arbitrator….I think he made wise choice this time. Big Foot comin!!
    Arthur Blank said NE should have been forthcoming in their cheating. Might have gotten off lighter. The deceptiom, deflection, and conduct they exhibit is why 31 other owners might be ready to steamroll Ole Chivas Regal man

  33. Were the needles discussed in the texts used for letting air out of the Deflator for his weight loss? Did the Pats address that?

  34. I wonder what the breaking point will be when the sound of crickets replace pats fan delusional posts here.

    #Patri*ts

  35. So I see that most of the comments critical of the Patriots fits into on or more of these categories:

    -Use of the asterisk key.
    -A play on words with “patriots” and “cheat” combined.
    -Claim that they are cheating because they’ve always been cheating.
    -Some reference to the error ridden fumble analysis performed by a guy peddling his gambling site.

    Bottom line, there are very few substantive points that cannot be easily dismissed if you pay attention to the facts.

    I live near Seattle, so there are plenty of folks who dislike the Patriots here. When I ask them questions similar to the following, when they can’t hide on a message board, they either don’t know the facts, or think they know facts that aren’t true:

    What was the violation they were punished for in Spygate? (hint: they were not filming practices)

    What would you expect to happen to footballs in cold weather? (unfortunately, many listen to that fraud, Bill Nye, who was 99% wrong about the science of football inflation)

    When was the text including the word “deflater” sent?

    When did Brady ask for deflation below 12.5 psi? What indicates he wanted them to deflate them after the referees certification?

    Why didn’t their systematic deflation program help them in the Jet game?

    How did McNally deflate footballs in the regular season Colt game, when he wasn’t there?

    When you read the Wells report without Patriot hate goggles, you can see the cherry picked texts (repeated over and over, as if there were many) and should wonder about the context, the questionable timeline, the inconsistencies in the scientific analysis (among many, many other issues). I would be embarrassed to put my name on that “independent” report.

  36. Of course it violated league rules. They didn’t just go after Wells, they went after personnel at the game, and also essentially publicly leaked previously unknown accusations about the Colts.

    But Goodell already has more fight with Kraft than he wants so he is going to take that one on the chin.

  37. “As opposed to the commissioners office leaking stuff to the press dozens of times in the past 4 months?”

    Find out who the leak was and you can demand they be published.

    Since the rebuttal is published under a Pats banner with annotations by the Pats lawyer, they don’t really have the same anonymity.

  38. The deeper down the rabbit hole this story goes, the more ludicrous it becomes. We all know the NFL is a business first and with any large business you have lawyers and executives in a constant horn lock over every issue imaginable. But frankly I am a little tired of seeing the daily minutia of this issue. Did the Patriots cheat? Is Well’s truly impartial in his investigation? Will Goodell have the stones to do what is right or placate to an owner or the interests of the League as he sees it rather than his own interests?

    These issues that get dissected to this level for the public to see is just going too far. I don’t necessarily need to see how the sausage is made, just make it.

    And lets get back to talking about actual football and not the day to day cooperate shenanigans that honestly are a part of every day big business and not terribly interesting.

  39. @machobob-

    You’re wasting your time with this crowd. You think any of these people care about the facts?

    Every single commenter on here would be on the flip side of the argument if it involved their team.

    And THAT is a fact.

  40. Goodell better remember the lesson he learned from Rice.

    Once public opinion turns and begins to roll, it becomes unstoppable.

    Does he want to go down as a man of integrity or a lap dog?

    He has to add whatever punishment is appropriate for this.

    You’ve made your money, now make your reputation by being a man of integrity and hammering the cheaters.

  41. Goodell could have squashed all of this by simply stating after the leaks came out that “these reports are false and inaccurate”, and then release the actual pressures they recorded. Of course he didn’t and let the media boil the pot to the point that nothing the Patriots say or do will be believed. It some point you have to just give up sitting around with your mouth shut and defend yourself. If anyone thinks this report was more than one sided, if the investigation wasn’t blotched from the start and that the NFL has done even a good job with the whole process itself then they are just plan stupid or have such a venomous hate for everything Patriots that it blinds them to the fact and common sense.

  42. Nothing like violating league rules in response to the accusation of… violating league rules.

  43. Roger Goodell is going to need to put on some waders to hear the Patriots appeal, because it’s going to be knee deep in ish.

  44. Defending yourself against a witch hunt does not break any rules as the witch is “Independent.” This has gotten comical in the amount of venom people have. Get a life.

  45. Smell that? The breeze coming from New England is carrying the distinct aroma of taint. It pervades every crack and crevice. The only disinfectant is honesty and justice.

    #cheaters

    #justfessup

  46. This has got to stop. I don’t have time to be reading and commenting on these stories, I really need to get some work done. However, I have no willpower.

  47. Didn’t violate a rule. The league can’t call it an independent report, but then come down on the Patriots for criticizing the league. It would be the league admitting that this isn’t an independent report, but actually an extension of the league.

    To be honest, its probably part of why the Patriots did it. Knowing they can’t criticize the league but the league is insisting that this report is “independent” the Patriots probably decided to take advantage of that bogus fact.

  48. zombiepatriot says:
    May 15, 2015 8:49 AM
    More leaks from the NFL?

    Tell me again why Tom Brady should have handed over his personal communications to the ever reliable to leak information NFL?
    ****************************
    He wasn’t asked to turnover any personal communications. But why should you be honest? Wells asked Mr. Hyde to get his own people to extract only relevant texts and they refused.

    I ask you, what happens when a player refuses to submit to a drug test (the most invasive personal request)? That’s right, they are suspended for not cooperating and it is considered a failed drug test.
    ____________________
    Others question the independence of the Wells Report because the NFL paid for it. I ask you, who’s job is it to pay for it, if not the NFL? I’ll wait for your answer.

  49. First off, everyone needs a reality check on football. The great American sport has a history of “gamesmanship” that has made it legendary and is what has added to its legacy even though many seem quick nowadays to want to throw anyone associated with it under the bus. Painting locker rooms pink, sewing handle straps to runningbacks belts to “throw them” over the line, snow plowing for a field goal, letting a field get soaked into mud, growing grass extra long to slow down quick teams, stick’um, stealing play books, faking injuries against no huddle, these tactics, although wrong have added to footballs mystique, so yes, getting caught means punishment but stop acting like a Patriots deflation scandal is unique and makes them some rogue team in NFL history

  50. rules! rules! we doan need no stinkin rules.
    when the ravens, vikes, and saints were gettin hammered kraft was all on board. but when it comes to him, nada. he is a hypocrite of the first magnitude. besides most of this isn’t about air anymore. it’s about non compliance, lying by both the team and brady.

  51. I couldn’t help but immediately think of the line from Harry Potter

    “I’m sorry dear, but to question my practices is to question the ministry, and by extension, the minister himself. I am a tolerant woman, but the one thing I will not stand for is disloyalty.” Delores Umbridge.

    It leads me to ask, have the Death Eaters taken over the NFL?

  52. The “deflator” excuse is so stupid, it’s gotta be TRUE.
    DEFEND THE WALL PATS NATION!!!!
    🏈🏆🏆🏆🏆🙌
    💪☝️☝️☝️☝️💪
    TB12 + BB + Kraft = GREATNESS
    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  53. So it’s okay for Goodell and Ted Wells to drag the Patriots name through the woodshed based on a ‘sting’ operation and faulty evidence and faulty gauges based on a rule that every QB ignores, which Aaron Rodgers admitted, but it’s not okay for the Patriots to retaliate to protect their name and their brand? Is that what we’ve got here? I hope Kraft forces Goodell out and publicly humiliates him just as Goodell has done to the Patriots.

  54. qdog112 says:

    Tell me again why Tom Brady should have handed over his personal communications to the ever reliable to leak information NFL?
    ****************************
    He wasn’t asked to turnover any personal communications. But why should you be honest? Wells asked Mr. Hyde to get his own people to extract only relevant texts and they refused.

    ****************************
    So you, qdog, would have been totally satisfied that Brady and his reps, who you hate and distrust with a passion, would turn over all of the relevant information? If they turned over nothing incriminating you would be screaming they withheld evidence. I know it and you know it. That offer was B.S.

  55. Brady ain’t got nothing to hide on his phone!
    The man knew that wells was after him right from the get go.
    HE ALREADY KNEW WHAT THE OUTCOME WAS GONNA BE. SO HES READY FOR THIS APPEAL AND TAKE IT TO THE BANK!!!!

    TB12 + BB + Kraft = GREATNESS
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🙌

  56. The Patriots response is EXACTLY what it sounds like after one gets caught cheating.

    There is a systemic history of cheating within the organization. If anything the punishment is representative of the previous instances and the inability they have shown to curb their actions.

    Accessing Rams Super Bowl Walkthrough
    Video Taping Signals / Spygate
    Deflategate

    Finally the league is doing something about it.

    Take your medicine Patriots, it’s been a long time coming.

  57. Half the league, including coaches, management, and players are bashing the Pats left and right; but, the Patriots defending themselves may be a violation…that’s exactly why Patriots fans are so (I can’t use the word I’d like to use) upset about this. Other teams have cheated (more than once) before; but, it’s only the Patriots who are repeat offenders, who have a history of cheating. Other teams have deflated, inflated and heated balls; but, it only the Patriots who are punished (not even punished harshly–no other team has been fined for this–including the Panthers who heated the balls on the sidelines of a game last season—-same rule as they accuse the Pats of breaking). The Panthers got a phone call and all the teams got a memo warning that heating balls is a no-no. PED use, stickum, vaseline, etc., etc., etc! You want to know why the Patriots felt the need to rebut the Wells report, it’s the same reason Pats fans, like me, feel the need to come on boards like this and bash our heads against the wall–we apparently are the only snake in the garden of Eden, everyone else is apparently pure as the driven snow; but, Patriots Nation–we’re the bad guys. Well, I’m proud to be a Pats fan and for all of you holier-than-thou fans of other teams (not all other fans, just some) why don’t you check out your teams locker rooms. You might just find a little dirty laundry in there!

  58. Well, then. Eli Manning, that joke of a coach Mike Pettine, Patrick Peterson, and any other player, coach, or exec who has bashed the Pats over this has violated league rules. I imagine we’ll see suspensions, fines, and loss of draft picks posthaste.

  59. Let’s make this real simple.

    The narrative for the whole Deflategate was cemented when it was “leaked” to Chris Mortensen that 11 of the 12 Patriot footballs were under inflated by 2 lbs. PSI

    Nothing that comes after that will sway the majority of your opinions regarding this.

    The Patriots could release the video from within the bathroom showing McNally just going to the bathroom and anyone who is sure of the Patriots guilt would say he did it somewhere else or so what, he didn’t do it then.

    Even if the Patriots are completely exonerated, most of you would still think they are guilty.

    Just remember that when it is your team in the hot seat.

    And yeah, I know I am going to get a ton of down votes.

  60. If the Patriots have such a problem with the NFL, maybe they should just leave. You know, take their franchise and create their own league and be able to videotape, adjust ball pressure, have eligible and ineligible receivers report at will.

    These rules the NFL has seem to be too confining for them anyway.

  61. I love these history of cheating comments. I realise that 95% of you are just trolls.

    Every rational thinking person knows what spygate was, it was the patriots saying F you to the league. It was the location they were doing it on the field. And it was the most overblown fiasco in sports history.

    In regards to deflategate, did Brady like the footballs a little on the low side…more than likely and a hefty fine should be punishment enough. See the quotes from Aaron Rodgers about how he likes his over inflated. Its clearly a preference for quarterbacks. The fact that the two Qbs are so far apart on psi shows how little this actually matters.

  62. When you read the Wells report without Patriot hate goggles, you can see the cherry picked texts (repeated over and over, as if there were many) and should wonder about the context, the questionable timeline, the inconsistencies in the scientific analysis (among many, many other issues). I would be embarrassed to put my name on that “independent” report.
    ———————————————–
    Patriot Hate Goggles? Awesome were can get a pair of those!!!

  63. Kraft should be forced to sell the team to the NFL at 1/3 going rate and vacate immediately. NFL can operate the team this year and move it to L.A. next year with a new owner.

  64. Tee hee. 🙂

    Patriots Hater is clearly getting more and more desperate by the day!

  65. Am I missing something? Wasn’t Wells “employed by the league” to do the investigation?

  66. “This has gotten comical in the amount of venom people have”

    The Patriots have run up the score on opponents when they can. They have ‘bent’ (to be nice) the rules along the way to do so. Their fans have insulted and ridiculed the rest of the league for a decade and a half.

    How exactly has the venom come as a surprise to you? It’s not new that what you give, you get back.

  67. Dear haters,
    I hate to be the one to break it to you but just because Brady appealed they can NOT extend any further punishment.Goodell can lessen it or keep it but he can not add games or more picks.But just keep hating in ignorance.It is amusing.

  68. Best defense is a good offense !

    I still can’t believe Goodell would have the balls to arbitrate his own decision (or his puppet Troy’s). This will not end well for the league on the image side. When this goes to court (it’s inevitable), and the “Wells” report is shredded for it’s speculative and one sided nature … someone will be getting their pink slip – don’t let the door hit you on the way out !

    Just Saying

  69. Let the Patriots continue to dig their grave. I heard someone refer to Kraft as the new Al Davis, totally out of touch with reality. So here is another Million fine and some more draft picks. Let the Patriots continue to drag themselves down and pretty soon they wont have any draft picks next year. I love that. Personally, I think the Patriots are making a big deal out of nothing. Brady, before all this, might have gotten the appeal down to two games, the million fine is nothing (even though idiot fans are paying it) and the patriots probably have stored up another one or two first round picks next year. Now they are making this an all out brawl, the appeal will lead to nothing and now they put themselves out there for more punishment. To me, that is the explanation of out of touch and clearly the Patriots are out of touch.

  70. When does this monstrosity of an organization not break rules? Tack this violation onto the appeals processes.

  71. Keep it classy, as always, Boston. You whiny jerks. From the tuck rule, to spygate, to deflategate, to that wonderful example of sportsmanship Kelly Olynyk.

    If you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying, right? And if caught, incessantly plead innocent and try to get the charges reduced. All’s fair in love and sport, err, war.

  72. “[p]ublicly criticize any member club or its management, personnel, employees, or coaches and/or any football official employed by the league.”

    Did I miss something? Nothing in here refers to the league office or its officials. “Football official employed by the league” means referee. Not league official. If you left off the word “football” you might have a case. As per usual, this is much ado about nothing being stirred up by the media.

  73. What has been lost in the Deflategate discussion is the role of the Ravens complaints to the league and the Colts after the Ravens played the Pats in the prior week. During and after that game, the Ravens complained of the deception caused by Belichick with his eligible/ineligible receiver formations that was too quick for both the Ravens defense and the officials to monitor. In fact, in a 35-31 final score game, at least one TD was scored by the Pats off an ineligible formation that the officials missed. ( Brady publicly rebuked Harbaugh’s complaint by chiding him to read the rule book). It was also reported by Jay Glazer (FOX) back in January that the Ravens tipped off the Colts about under-inflated balls used by the Pats in that game. So the NFL had its hands full with complaints against the Pats in the playoffs even before the Colts game. ( BTW, the Competition Committee modified the rules for eligible receiver reporting in 2015 to prevent Patriot shenanigans in the future).

  74. The rule is plain language and actually reprinted above. The Patriots did not violate it, and people claiming they did cannot be literate.

  75. “Did I miss something? Nothing in here refers to the league office or its officials. “Football official employed by the league” means referee. Not league official. If you left off the word “football” you might have a case. As per usual, this is much ado about nothing being stirred up by the media.”

    Go through all the annotations and tell me if they criticized Walt Anderson.

  76. color infusion said:

    “The Patriots could release the video from within the bathroom showing McNally just going to the bathroom”

    Pats, fan that I am, even I wouldn’t want to see that!!!!

  77. Wineshard says:
    May 15, 2015 10:20 AM
    “If the Patriots have such a problem with the NFL, maybe they should just leave. You know, take their franchise and create their own league and be able to videotape, adjust ball pressure, have eligible and ineligible receivers report at will.

    These rules the NFL has seem to be too confining for them anyway.”

    Can we take the few teams who can truly compete with us with us? If we can, what a league that would make!!!!

  78. League employees exaggerated (lied) about material facts of the incident in the days after the game. Either by refusal or indifference, they did not correct those missstatements.
    It was that point early on that shaped Kraft’s fire to see this through and hold the league accountable if they didn’t correct their errors. The league doubled down with their biased investigation. It’s on! Kraft is right to call them out for the horrendous treatment they have received.

  79. I still can’t even wrap my head around the Pats firing 2 guys who they said were innocent & then using some lame excuse as to why they were fired.

  80. pftony says:
    May 15, 2015 12:34 PM
    I still can’t even wrap my head around the Pats firing 2 guys who they said were innocent & then using some lame excuse as to why they were fired.

    And if the Pats hadn’t done what the league required them to do in the league’s ruling, you’d be saying how arrogant they are for ignoring the NFL’s directive.

  81. Did the Patriots cheat this year? Maybe.

    Now substitute any other team name and the answer is still the same

    The Pats aren’t even among the top cheaters in the league, just middle of the pack. So why all the outrage? Because they win too much?

    check it out yourself at YourTeamCheats dot com

  82. It is very easy to pile on the Pats right now. Things sure don’t look good for them.

    What happens when the league starts jumping on the other teams for their *alleged” wrong doings?

    Do you think any of them would be able to stand up for themselves? The NFL’s front office was clearly on a witch hunt and is trying to bully the Pats into accepting their punishment. Would you accept a lesser punishment if you didn’t do anything wrong?

  83. The League didn’t require the Pats organization to either fire or suspend the two employees. The NFL’s directive with regard to them involves what responsibilities they would be allowed if they are ever reinstated. The Patriots organization is responsible for their current job status.

  84. RegisHawk says:
    May 15, 2015 1:45 PM
    The League didn’t require the Pats organization to either fire or suspend the two employees. The NFL’s directive with regard to them involves what responsibilities they would be allowed if they are ever reinstated. The Patriots organization is responsible for their current job status.

    Sorry;but, the directive states that McNally is to be suspended indefinitely and Jastremski is to be suspended and may not be reinstated without the express approval of the NFL. It does go on to state that Jastremski can no longer ever have anything to do with preparing or handling balls….but the main point was that both men had to be suspended immediately.

  85. “Assistant equipment manager John Jastremski and officials’ locker room attendant James “the deflator” McNally were suspended indefinitely without pay by the Patriots on May 6.”

    Read it again – by the Patriots.

    The NFL may be putting restrictions on their reinstatement, but the suspension was handed down by their own team.

  86. Of course, it was by the Patriots, they were employees of the Patriots; but, and this is a big but–the league REQUIRED the Pats to do it—which is why the Patriots didn’t do it until May 6….the day the punishment was handed down.

  87. The League did not require it. The Pats did it themselves. You are making up a story to alter the tenor of the discussion.

    Show any reference to the League telling the Pats to suspend and/or fire them.

  88. So who from the league office, or Colts got in trouble for leaking stories about the Patriots?

  89. The League did not require it. The Pats did it themselves. You are making up a story to alter the tenor of the discussion.

    Show any reference to the League telling the Pats to suspend and/or fire them.
    ===
    If the Patriots suspended them of their own accord, then the NFL wouldn’t care about their reinstatement.

  90. Sorry Florio but that rule in full also applies to officers of the league (that actually also includes Goodell and his goons), and includes prohibiting direct and indirect public criticism of teams. Thus the NFL already broke its own rules with its false news leaks. This absolves the Pats’ public reaction.

  91. hooterdawg says:
    May 15, 2015 11:43 AM
    … In fact, in a 35-31 final score game, at least one TD was scored by the Pats off an ineligible formation that the officials missed. ( Brady publicly rebuked Harbaugh’s complaint by chiding him to read the rule book)…”

    Sorry, you got that wrong. The play that they later decided was an ineligible receiver was against the Colts, not the Ravens.

  92. Haha, lots of hate…guess what, this case is going to Supreme Court of MA and it will all be because the NFL doesn’t know when it is beat…Goodell never gave up his phone in the Rice case, why should Brady?? This case is way BIGGER than Brady, it is the NFLPA who will use Brady’s unmeritied labor dispute (not punitive action) and unprecedented sanction that will FINALLY be the demise of Goodell and the CBA….this is going to go on through the season, with a stay in place while Brady has his say on the field…Enjoy your fun, your piling on, your falsies, because this is gonna be settled in real courts, where your opinion on whether this team cheated or not…mounts to jack…

  93. Despotic dictators invoke the same rules. Is Kraft going to be shot with an anti-aircraft gun for telling the truth?

  94. Not a fan of pats but it’s entertaining the amount of jealousy that’s running rampant out there. If this is all about integrity of the game why didn’t this outcry occur when Carolina was busted heating balls against the Vikings? Please note that I only mentioned Carolina because it was only Carolina. That’s what a person without an axe to grind does. Waits for the FACTS.

  95. Of all the comments on this board, only THREE talk about one, simple fact.

    Ref Walt Andersons testimony clearly stated he used the gauge with the logo. THis was the accurate gauge. The gauge without the crooked needle.

    Wells hammered on him in the report until Walt said there’s a possibility he used the other gauge.

    So Wells used the non logo gauge numbers in his report.

    If he accepted Walt’s recollection of events (as he had on every other matter), and the numbers from the logo gauged were used…. the Pats balls fall within the scientific less than 1 psi drop.

    This means there would be no issue. Case closed. No need for anything else.

    And I’ll bet 98% of the commenters here don’t see the sh*tstorm this is going to create in front of a partial judge…. which is why Goodell wants to hear the appeal.

  96. Hubbuch replaced “in respect to the foregoing” with an ellipsis in his tweet, and made it appear as if there were no qualifications regarding the prohibited criticism. I don’t care what you think of the Patriots, that’s dishonest.

  97. qdog112 wrote:
    Others question the independence of the Wells Report
    because the NFL paid for it. I ask you, who’s job is it to pay for it, if not the NFL? I’ll wait for your answer.
    ————————-

    My understanding is that Wells’ independence was questioned, not because the NFL paid for the Wells Report, but because the Report did not disclose the full extent of his firm’s financial relationship with the NFL.

  98. If the Patriots suspended them of their own accord, then the NFL wouldn’t care about their reinstatement.

    They certainly would for 2 reasons:

    1. They can’t risk the bad publicity of having these people still involved with the NFL in any way, shape or form.

    2. They can’t risk these guys anywhere near a football again even after this issue is long dead.

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