During his appearance on ESPN’s Mike and Mike Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked several questions about Deflategate.
Among them was a question about the suspensions of John Jastremski and Jim McNally, the two Patriots employees whose interactions with each other and the balls used in the AFC Championship game made up a good portion of the Wells Report. The two men were suspended by the Patriots despite a strong defense of their actions in the team’s response to the report and without any specific explanation of why they were disciplined.
Adam Schefter of ESPN later reported that the suspensions came at the request of the league, but Goodell denied that on Tuesday.
“Absolutely not. That was a decision by the Patriots,” Goodell said.
If it were merely a team decision, it’s a bit hard to reconcile the league’s reference to the two men in their release outlining the punishments against the Patriots and Tom Brady in May. The league said that neither Jastremski nor McNally is eligible to be reinstated without the prior approval of the league, which isn’t usually the case when it comes to team-issued discipline.
On Twitter last week, Vincent said that he has not heard from the Patriots regarding Jastemski or McNally. During an appearance on WEEI Tuesday, Brady said “of course” he wants the two men back with the team and that he feels “terrible” that they aren’t with the club right now.