'Deflate-Gate' Report: Patriots Workers Discussed Deflated Balls, Brady in Texts
An independent report on “Deflate-Gate” includes text messages between a Patriots locker room attendant and equipment assistant, discussing the deflation of game balls.
The report by investigator Ted Wells found that it’s “probable” that the Patriots deflated game balls and that quarterback Tom Brady knew about it. Brady has maintained that he knew nothing about the situation.
Wells’ report says it’s probable that locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski participated in deliberate efforts to deflate the balls.
A series of text messages show the two men talking about the air pressure of the game balls and Brady's apparent preference for deflated balls.
In one text exchange, McNally said, “Tom sucks... [I’m] going make that next ball a [expletive] balloon.” Jastremski replied, “Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done...”
Among the report's conclusions, it states that "it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules."
And it also says it is "more probable than not" that Brady was "at least generally aware" that Patriots personnel were deflating game balls.
Meantime, Tom Brady's agent released a statement this morning on the Wells report.
"The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment," said Don Yee, accusing investigators of reaching a conclusion first and then determining "so-called facts later."
All eyes are now on Commissioner Roger Goodell to see whether he decides to hand down punishment to the Patriots and/or Brady.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement yesterday, calling Wells' findings "disappointing."
"Throughout the process of this nearly four-month investigation, we have cooperated and patiently awaited its outcome. To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement," said Kraft.
The "Deflate-Gate" scandal, as it came to be known, erupted after the Patriots' victory over the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
It was determined after the game that Brady was using footballs that were deflated below the league's minimum allowable level.
Watch Molly Line’s report above. You can read the Wells report, here.