New England Patriots Wiretap

Brady Never Warned About Punishment For Not Handing Over Phone

Aug 5, 2015 4:39 AM

Tom Brady denied under oath to Roger Goodell that he tampered with footballs before the AFC title game.

Investigator Ted Wells testified that he never warned Brady that he would be punished if he didn't turn over his cellphone.

Brady denied discussing air-pressure levels with the ball boys or even thinking about how inflated the footballs were when he selected them. 

Brady was suspended four games and the team was docked $1 million and two draft picks after an NFL-sanctioned investigation by Wells found the Patriots supplied improperly inflated footballs for the conference championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, which New England won 45-7.

ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots

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Patriots Pay Rob Gronkowski $6M Of $10M 2016 Option Bonus

Aug 5, 2015 4:36 AM

The New England Patriots paid Rob Gronkowski $4 million from a $10 million option bonus for 2016.

The Patriots have until the end of the 2015 league year to decide whether to officially exercise that team option.

“It’s a great feeling,” Gronkowski said. “I just want to thank Mr. (Bob) Kraft (the team owner), coach (Bill) Belichick and the New England Patriots organization. They’re first class to always deal with. It is what it is now. It’s time to put that behind you and just play football now.”

Gronkowski’s six-year contract extension with $54 million in new money has been viewed as two deals all along. He got an immediate win with an $8 million signing bonus in 2012 that nearly doubled the total dollars of his four-year rookie deal, and he’ll earn $25 million in cash in 2015 if the Patriots exercise the option.

Jeff Howe/Boston Herald

Tags: New England Patriots, Misc Rumor

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Tom Brady, NFL Set For Aug. 12 Settlement Talks

Jul 31, 2015 7:31 PM

Settlement talks between Tom Brady and the NFL are set for Aug. 12.

Richard Berman asked Brady's lawyers and the NFL to file a memo stating their positions on Aug. 7. Berman scheduled a conference for Aug. 12, requesting that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Brady be in attendance. Berman encouraged the two sides to continue to work on a potential settlement. Barring that, Berman also set an Aug. 19 date for both parties to meet again and either continue to conference or hear oral arguments.

The NFL upheld Brady's four-game suspension this week.

Gregg Rosenthal/NFL.com

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Mike Kensil 'Main Source' Of ESPN's Incorrect Deflategate Report

Jul 31, 2015 4:55 PM

Mike Kensil was the “main source” for ESPN’s inflammatory and ultimately incorrect report that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs used in the first half of the AFC Championship Game “were inflated significantly below the NFL's requirements”, reported WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show.

Kensil is the NFL's Vice President of Game Operations and was the driving force behind the investigation.

Kensil was the Jets director of operations for nearly 20 years. His tenure overlapped Bill Parcells (and Bill Belichick’s) time with the Jets and he would have been part of a Jets front office incensed by Belichick’s 2000 resignation as Jets head coach.

 

Kensil suspected the Patriots of tampering with footballs long before the AFC Championship Game, a source says.

Kensil walked up to Patriots equipment manager Dave Schoenfeld on the sideline after halftime and said, “We weighed the balls. You are in big f------ trouble.” 

The “11 of 12” report was born on the Wednesday evening after the AFC Championship Game. It inferred a calculated effort by the Patriots to deflate footballs since, at that time, the media and general public wasn’t considering the fact inflated items lose pressure in cool weather.

Tom E. Curran/Comcast

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Chris Mortensen To Finally Address Erroneous Initial Deflategate Story

Jul 30, 2015 9:46 PM

Chris Mortensen of ESPN will address his initial story that 11 of 12 New England Patriots' footballs were 2.0 pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum in the AFC Championship Game. The story turned out to be false.

Mortensen has never addressed or explained the story publicly, but he'll do so Friday morning on WEEI radio.

At a minimum, the NFL failed to dispute or to correct the erroneous report, with the Patriots not knowing the true reading until late March and the rest of us not knowing the truth until the release of the Ted Wells report in May.

Adam Schefter appeared on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday, and he addressed the criticism of Mortensen’s 11-of-12 footballs report.

“First of all, I’ve never had in-depth conversations with Chris about the story,” Schefter said. “Chris is as good a reporter as there is. And he’s been a pioneer in this industry. So when he decides to do things, he has a reason for doing them. And I’ll just stand behind him as a reporter and as a man. I love him.

“And I don’t know the particulars of what happened. I really don’t, OK?. But I can tell you this, somebody wanted information out. You’re blaming him. But I will say this. Number one, I’m sure he has an explanation. Number two, any reporter in the country, if they have high level people calling them, giving them this information, almost anyone’s gonna run with it.”

Someone must have lied to or misled Mortensen.

“If that is indeed the case that one, two, three high-level individuals intentionally misled him to try to smear the Patriots, I saw more shame on those people than Mort,” Schefter said.

The NFL has quickly corrected other information with which it disagrees, such as Schefter's report that Tom Brady only had four hours to present his case on appeal. But the NFL didn't correct the record on the PSI report from Mortensen.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Judge Rules Tom Brady's Suit Moved To New York

Jul 30, 2015 11:27 AM

U.S. District Judge Richard H. Kyle in Minnesota ordered Thursday that the NFLPA's lawsuit on behalf of Tom Brady be transferred to the Southern District of New York.

"This court perceives no reason for this action to proceed in Minnesota," Kyle wrote in his ruling.

On Wednesday, the NFLPA filed suit in Minnesota alleging that Brady's punishment was not fair and consistent. It also claims that the appeal hearing "defied any concept of fundamental fairness" and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was partial in his decision to uphold the suspension.

The players association filed the suit in Minnesota where they had won previous litigation against the NFL.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Brady: Phone Controversy Manufactured As Distraction

Jul 29, 2015 10:43 AM

Tom Brady released the following statement following the NFL's decision to uphold his four-game suspension:

"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 'probable' that I was 'generally 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 yesterday's 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 'smoking 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 Commissioner's 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."

ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Brady Offered NFL Every Individual He Communicated With On Phone

Jul 29, 2015 10:35 AM

The NFL leaked to ESPN that Tom Brady destroy his cell phone as they announced they would not reduce his four-game suspension.

The following, however, is in the Wells Report:

“After the hearing and after the submission of post-hearing briefs, Mr. Brady’s certified agents offered to provide a spreadsheet that would identify all of the individuals with whom Mr. Brady had exchanged text messages during [the relevant time] period; the agents suggested that the League could contact those individuals and request production of any relevant text messages that they retained. Aside from the fact that, under Article 46, Section 2(f) of the CBA, such information could and should have been provided long before the hearing, the approach suggested in the agents’ letter — which would require tracking down numerous individuals and seeking consent from each to retrieve from their cellphones detailed information about their text message communications during the relevant period — is simply not practical.”

The NFL refused to attempt to track down the people Brady communicated with.

The NFL also leaked the 11-of-12 footballs had a deflated PSI to ESPN, which was not true.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Robert Kraft Calls NFL's Brady Decision 'Unfathomable'

Jul 29, 2015 10:15 AM

Robert Kraft called the decision by the NFL to uphold their four-game suspension of Tom Brady "unfathomable."

"I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady," said Kraft.

Kraft expressed regret stepping aside in May and accepting the NFL's penalties for the New England Patriots. Kraft said he had hoped accepting penalties for the Patriots would lead to a better outcome for Brady.

"I was wrong to put my faith in the league," said Kraft.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: New England Patriots

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Tom Brady Offered Reduced Suspension If He Admitted Guilt, Apologize

Jul 28, 2015 9:05 PM

The NFL offered to reduce Tom Brady's suspension to two games and possibly one if he did the following things:

1. Admit to having knowledge of whatever John Jastremski and Jim McNally did to the footballs.

2. Admit to failing to cooperate with the investigation of Ted Wells.

3. Apologized. 

Settlement talks can continue independent of litigation.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Brady, NFL Were Moving Towards One-Game Suspension Settlement
Tom Brady reportedly wanted the records sealed as part of the deal.

Judy Battista/NFL.com

Brady's Agent: The Appeal Process Was A Sham
Tom Brady's agent and attorney, Don Yee, released a statement in response to the NFL upholding his four-game suspension.

RealGM Staff Report

NFL Upholds Tom Brady's Four-Game Suspension
Roger Goodell cited new information that on or shortly before March 6, Tom Brady had directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

NFL, NFLPA Open Settlement Talks On Tom Brady Suspension
Tuesday will mark five weeks since Roger Goodell heard Tom Brady's appeal in Manhattan.

Mike Garafolo/Fox Sports

Junior Seau's Family Not Allowed To Speak At Hall Of Fame Ceremony
Junior Seau had told this family if he ever made it, he wanted his daughter, Sydney, to introduce him.

Ken Belson/New York Times

NFL Ignores NFLPA Settlement Offer On Tom Brady Case
It is believed that Tom Brady is holding firm on his refusal to accept any suspension, though he would consider accepting a fine.

Dan Graziano/ESPN

Dan Connolly Retires At 32 Citing Family, Health
Dan Connolly was a captain on the Patriots in 2014.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots Agree Upon Four-Year, $17.2M Deal
The Patriots were using their franchise tag on Stephen Gostkowski.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

NFLPA To Take Tom Brady's Appeal To Federal Court If Ban Not Reduced
The NFLPA will argue the ball-deflation policy was incorrectly applied to Tom Brady, as the rules were meant for club personnel and not players.

ESPN

Tom Brady Appeal Decision 'Coming Soon'
Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell were spotted together Wednesday.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Union Files Complaint Against Patriots On Malcolm Butler Punishment
The complaint by the union was filed Wednesday and done without Malcolm Butler's approval following an initial review.

ESPN

Florio: Goodell's Underlings Were Out To Get Patriots
Mike Florio believes it was the failure of Roger Goodell to react decisively in the Ray Rice debacle that enabled those beneath him to seize on this Patriots' situation.

Ryan Glasspiegel/The Big Lead

Tom Brady Has 10-Hour Appeal Hearing
A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that "Tom Brady's greatest ally today was Tom Brady."

Rachel Cohen/AP

Rob Gronkowski Only Living Off Endorsement Money
Rob Gronkowski has yet to spend any of the $10 million he's earned on his contract with the Patriots over his first five NFL seasons.

ESPN

Ted Wells To Attend Tom Brady's Appeal Hearing
Ted Wells will be available to answer questions from both Tom Brady's side and commissioner Roger Goodell.

Chris Mortensen/ESPN

Patriots Release Fred Davis
Fred Davis joined the Patriots on a one-year deal May 11, four days after being reinstated by the NFL.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Matt Flynn Signs With Patriots
If Tom Brady is going to miss games in September under suspension, Matt Flynn would provide a veteran backup option for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Curtis Crabtree/Pro Football Talk

Patriots Release Tim Wright
The Patriots will move forward with Scott Chandler behind Rob Gronkowski at tight end.

Mike Garafolo/FoxSports

Malcolm Butler Benched For Being Late Due To Canceled Flight
Bill Belichick had kept Malcolm Butler off the field until this week.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Patriots Release Brandon Spikes Hours After Car Incident
The Patriots re-signed Brandon Spikes, who played for them from 2010 to 2013, to a one-year deal worth a maximum value of $2 million on May 16.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

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