Allstate Journal

Roger Goodell upholds Patriots QB Tom Brady’s four-game suspension

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension Tuesday, citing the New England Patriots quarterback’s decision to have his cell phone destroyed before a meeting with an NFL-backed investigator as a key piece of evidence. The strongly worded, 20-page decision from Goodell said the evidence supports findings Brady “participated in a scheme to tamper” with game balls in the AFC title game victory over the Indianapolis Colts and “willfully obstructed” attorney Ted Wells’ investigation.

“All of this indisputably constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football,” Goodell wrote. Brady testified at a June 23 appeals hearing that when he changes cellphones, he gives the old one to an assistant for destruction “so that no one can ever, you know, reset it or do something where the information is available to anyone,” per Goodell’s decision.

But Goodell wrote that conflicts with the fact Brady’s previous cell phone, used from the spring of 2014 through Nov. 5, was available for view and no explanation was given for that anomaly. “All we know is that Mr. Brady exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages with many individuals over this period of approximately four months,” the decision said. Goodell added: “Mr. Brady’s direction that his cellphone (and its relevant evidence) be destroyed on or about March 6 is very troubling. Rather than simply failing to cooperate, Mr. Brady made a deliberate effort to ensure that investigators would never have access to information that he had been asked to produce.”

After the Brady’s 10-hour appeal hearing at the NFL’s New York offices last month, Brady’s NFL Players Association-appointed attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, told reporters, “I think we put in a very compelling case. “The penalties were issued after Wells, an NFL-appointed investigator, found that Brady was “at least generally aware” of plans made by two team employees to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated 12.5 pounds per square inch.


February 2018
« Jan