Tom Brady’s punishment is a four-game suspension for his knowledge concerning what has been called “Deflategate.” The decision to suspend Brady came days after a lengthy report and finding that the New England Patriots quarterback knew about rule-breaking, according to ESPN.
In addition to Brady’s four-game suspension, the New England Patriots have been fined $1 million, and two draft picks have been taken away as punishment for deflating footballs used in the championship game. The Patriots won that game and went on to win the Super Bowl.
The NFL also indefinitely suspended two official locker room attendants, James McNally and John Jastremski, without pay for their part in deflating the footballs after they had been inspected and approved by game officials.
The league added that the two men cannot be reinstated without the NFL’s approval. They cannot handle footballs next season.
For Brady, this means he will miss the season’s showcase kickoff game on September 10 against Pittsburgh, Week 2 at Buffalo, a home game against Jacksonville, and a game at Dallas. Brady will return the week the Patriots face the Colts in Indianapolis.
“The Patriots will also lose a first-round pick in 2016, and a fourth-round pick in 2017.”
CNN reported that Don Yee, Brady’s agent, says the decorated athlete will appeal the NFL’s decision. Yee released a statement Monday giving his unfavorable opinion about Tom Brady’s suspension.
“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits.”
Brady and Coach Bill Belichick have denied knowing anything about how the team’s footballs are prepared for games. The NFL said the Patriots had violated the league’s policy on integrity and its rules of the game. It also blamed both Brady and the Patriots for not cooperating with the investigation.
The Patriots won the AFC title game by the lopsided score of 45-7, beating the Indianapolis Colts so badly that some have said that a few pounds of air pressure couldn’t have been the difference. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president for football operations, said the margin of victory isn’t the issue.
“It is impossible to determine whether this activity had an effect on the outcome of games or what that effect was. The key consideration in any case like this is that the playing rules exist for a reason, and all clubs are entitled to expect that the playing rules will be followed by participating teams.”
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