The NFL has upheld its four-game suspension for Tom Brady.
In announcing the decision, Goodell cited new information that on or shortly before March 6, Brady had directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. The NFL said in the statement that Brady destroyed the phone even though he was aware that investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on the phone.
According to the NFL, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved.
Brady is expected to challenge the decision in federal court and seek an injunction that will allow him to play while his case works its way through the courts.
Brady remains adamant that he will not accept a suspension and that any punishment must specify that it's for failing to cooperate with an NFL investigation and not for breaking rules with footballs.
Brady's agent and attorney, Don Yee, released the following statement:
"The Commissioner's decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness.
"Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything in appropriate occurred.
"The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision. For example, the Wells investigative team was given over 100 days to conduct its investigation. Just days prior to the appeal hearing, we were notified we would only have four hours to present a defense; therefore, we didn't have enough time to examine important witnesses. Likewise, it was represented to the public that the Wells team was 'independent'; however, when we requested documents from Wells, out request was rejected on the basis of privilege. We therefore had no ideas as to what Wells found from other witnesses, nor did we know what those other witnesses said.
"These are just two examples of how the Commissioner failed to ensure a fair process."