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Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

Prior to Bill Belichick‘s regularly scheduled press conference to open the start of training camp, Robert Kraft took to the podium and addressed the appeal of Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension being upheld.

He came out swinging against the league.

Kraft said the league’s ruling Tuesday was “unfathomable.”

He went onto say he regretted what he said in May at the NFL owners’ meetings and apologized to Brady and Patriots fans.

Kraft said he took the harshest penalty in the history in the league with the hope that it was exonerate Brady.

“I was wrong to put my faith in the league,” he said.

Stay tuned for more…

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady responded to the NFL’€™s confirmation of his four-game suspension by defending himself in a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday morning and insisting neither he nor anyone in the Patriots organization did anything wrong.

Tom Brady responded to the NFL’€™s confirmation of his four-game suspension by defending himself in a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday morning and insisting neither he nor anyone in the Patriots organization did anything wrong.

In his strongest public comments since the controversy broke after the AFC championship game, the Patriots quarterback wrote:

I am very disappointed by the NFL’€™s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.

Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was ‘€œprobable’€ that I was ‘€œgenerally aware’€ of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. He dismissed my hours of testimony and it is disappointing that he found it unreliable.

I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.

Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.

To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no ‘€œsmoking gun’€ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.

I authorized the NFLPA to make a settlement offer to the NFL so that we could avoid going to court and put this inconsequential issue behind us as we move forward into this season. The discipline was upheld without any counter offer. I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.

Lastly, I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support of family, friends and our fans who have supported me since the false accusations were made after the AFC Championship game. I look forward to the opportunity to resume playing with my teammates and winning more games for the New England Patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Jeff Samardzija is one of millions of Americans with an opinion on Tom Brady.

Jeff Samardzija (29) of the Chicago White Sox pitches to David Ortiz in the ninth inning Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jeff Samardzija (29) of the Chicago White Sox pitches to David Ortiz in the ninth inning Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jeff Samardzija is one of millions of Americans with an opinion on Tom Brady.

After pitching eight innings Tuesday night for the White Sox in a 9-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, he gave his on what he thinks of Brady’s current situation in Deflategate.

“I think he should’ve just said he let air out of the ball a long time ago,” Samardzija told WEEI.com.

What gives Samardjiza interesting perspective in this particular case is that he was a receiver for Brady’s former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, when Weis was head coach at Notre Dame in 2005 and ’06.

“It’s not a big deal,” Samardjiza continued. “I don’t think anyone would’ve been mad at him. The only reason you don’t say something is you’re worried about your legacy. But I think his legacy was pretty established. I don’t think a flat football is going to change the opinion on him very much.”

There were rumors that the Patriots might be interested in Samardzija after he showed promise in 2005 but Samardzija announced, after being selected in the 2006 MLB Draft, that he would take his name out of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Informed that Tuesday was not a particularly good day for Brady as Roger Goodell upheld the four-game suspension on the quarterback, Samardzija again offered some perspective.

“That’s OK. He’s doing fine. He’s got [four] Super Bowls, a model wife. He’ll be OK,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

According to a Tuesday night report from Pro Football Talk, the NFL was willing to drop Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension by “at least 50 percent” if the quarterback agreed to three major points: one, he admitted to having knowledge of whatever John Jastremski and Jim McNally were doing to the footballs.

According to a Tuesday night report from Pro Football Talk, the NFL was willing to drop Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension by “at least 50 percent” if the quarterback agreed to three major points: one, he admitted to having knowledge of whatever John Jastremski and Jim McNally were doing to the footballs. Two, he admitted to failing to cooperate with the Ted Wells investigation. And three, he apologized.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady and Roger Goodell are headed to court. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)



Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady's four-game suspension Tuesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension Tuesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday that Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate has been upheld. Brady’s appeal was heard by Goodell on June 23 and now over a month later a decision has been finally reached.

As part of the decision being upheld, the NFL released a 20-page report where Goodell goes into each part of the case and fully explains his stance on it, including a conclusion as to why Brady’s suspension remains at four games.

The complete 20-page report can be found here.

Here are some of the takeaways:

— The report says Brady destroyed his cellphone “on or about March 6, 2015 — the very day that he was interviewed by Mr. [Ted] Wells and his investigative team. Mr. Brady’s counsel submitted correspondence and other materials indicating that the cell phone that Mr. Brady had used from November 6, 2014 through March 5 or 6, 2015, was unavailable because it had been destroyed, and that the text messages exchanged on that cellphone could not be retrieved.”

At his appeal hearing Brady “testified that it is practice to destroy (or to give to his assistant to destroy) his cellphone and SIM cards when he gets a new cellphone. Mr. Brady also testified that based on his typical practice, he would have asked to have the existing cellphone destroyed at or about the same time that he began using his new cellphone.”

— Following the appeal hearing, which John Jastremski and Jim McNally did not appear as witnesses at, Goodell asked if he could get testimony from them. Brady and the NFLPA disclaimed any need to do so.

— The report addressed Goodell hearing the appeal: “As always, I am bound, of course, by standards of fairness and consistency of treatment among players similarly situated, and I have had those standards in mind throughout my consideration of this appeal.”

— The NFLPA and Brady didn’t dispute the findings in the Wells Report, based on experiments conducted by Exponent, that the period of time McNally spent in the bathroom was more than enough time for him to release air from each of the footballs. The report said Brady and the NFLPA submitted alternative scientific analysis from AEI and had Dean Snyder, of the Yale School of Management, an economist who specializes in industrial organization speak giving counter arguments to the findings of the Wells Report.

After listening to both sides, Goodell came to the conclusion that “the decline in pressure cannot be explained by environmental, physical or other natural factors. Instead, at least a substantial part of the decline was the result of tampering.”

— Brady denied any involvement of being in a scheme to deflate the footballs. Goodell said he “cannot credit this denial” for a number of reasons.

The report states: “In short, the available electronic evidence, coupled with information compiled in the investigators’ interviews, leads me to conclude that Mr. Brady knew about, approved of, consented to, and provided inducements and rewards in support of a scheme by which, with Mr. Jastremski’s support, Mr. McNally tampered with the game balls. The result was to undermine, if not vitiate, the game officials’ efforts to ensure that the game balls used by the Patriots compiled with league rules.”

— The report says Brady refused to cooperate with the investigation, saying he declined to make investigators available to electronic information including texts and emails related to the subject of the investigation. Brady was asked repeatedly and even the investigators offered to “allow his counsel to select the responsive communications so that the privacy of his personal communications could be maintained.”

Besides saying Brady was involved in a scheme to tamper with the footballs, the report says, “Mr. Brady willfully obstructed the investigation by, among other things, affirmatively arranging for destruction of his cellphone knowing it contained potentially relevant information that had been requested by the investigators.”

— The report says nothing previous in the history of the NFL is directly comparable to this — not Bountygate, Brett Favre‘s case, Panthers-Vikings warming of footballs on sidelines or the Jets’ equipment staff member who attempted to use unapproved equipment in plain view to prepare kicking balls. It says the “closest parallel” is the first violation of the policy governing performance enhancing drugs.

— As for the penalty, the report says Brady knows that players are subject to being suspended for violating playing rules and he had no reason to believe that a suspension could not be imposed for what the report says Brady had knowledge of.

— The report’s conclusion reads as follows:

I entered into the appeal process open to reevaluating my assessment of Mr. Brady’s conduct and the associated discipline. Especially in light of the new evidence introduced at the hearing — evidence demonstrating that he arranged for the destruction of potentially relevant evidence that had been specifically requested by the investigators — my findings and conclusions have not changed in a matter that would benefit Mr. Brady.

Notwithstanding my enormous respect for his accomplishments on the field and for his contributions and role in the community, I find that, with respect to the game balls used in the AFC Championship Game and the subsequent investigation, Mr. Brady engaged in contract detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.

The four-game suspension is confirmed. In response to a concern raised by the NFLPA, this will confirm that compensation for the intervening bye week will be paid to Mr. Brady in equal installments over the remainder of the season once he returns from his suspension.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable