New England Patriots Wiretap

NFL Upholds Tom Brady's Four-Game Suspension

Jul 28, 2015 3:16 PM

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."

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Fantasy, Suspension

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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

Jul 28, 2015 5:17 PM

Tom Brady and the NFL were moving towards a one-game suspension settlement, but Brady reportedly wanted the records sealed. The NFL wouldn't relent on that issue and so the four-game suspension was upheld and it will be taken to the courts.

Brady was initially reportedly unwilling to accept any suspension though he would have given up his fight if he were to be simply fined by the league.

Judy Battista/NFL.com

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Brady's Agent: The Appeal Process Was A Sham

Jul 28, 2015 5:00 PM

Tom Brady's agent and attorney, Don Yee, released the following statement in response to the NFL upholding his four-game suspension:

"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.

"Additionally, the science in the Wells Report was junk. It has been thoroughly discredited by independent third parties.

"Finally, as to the issue of cooperation, we presented the Commissioner with an unprecedented amount of electronic data, all of which is incontrovertible. I do not think that any private citizen would have agreed to provide anyone with the amount of information that Tom was willing to reveal to the Commissioner. Tom was completely transparent. All of the electronic information was ignored; we don't know why. The extent to which Tom opened up his private life to the Commissioner will become clear in the coming days.

The Commissioner's decision and discipline has no precedent in all of NFL history. His decision alters the competitive balance of the upcoming season. The decision is wrong and has no basis and it diminishes the integrity of the game."

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: New England Patriots

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NFL, NFLPA Open Settlement Talks On Tom Brady Suspension

Jul 27, 2015 3:02 PM

The NFL and NFLPA have opened talks on a settlement for Tom Brady's four-game suspension.

Tuesday will mark five weeks since Goodell heard Brady's appeal in Manhattan. A source said Brady has become frustrated with the lack of a decision from Goodell.

Brady's camp is prepared to fight the suspension in the courts but he will accept a fine.

Mike Garafolo/Fox Sports

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Junior Seau's Family Not Allowed To Speak At Hall Of Fame Ceremony

Jul 24, 2015 3:51 PM

Junior Seau's family will not be allowed to speak at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Aug. 8th.

Seau had told this family if he ever made it, he wanted his daughter, Sydney, to introduce him.

The Hall of Fame will only show a video that will commemorate his career, while avoiding questions about his suicide in 2012 and the subsequent diagnosis of traumatic brain injury that doctors said they believed was brought on by hits to his head. Nor will the video mention the lawsuit that Seau’s family has filed against the N.F.L., which is trying to curb injuries in active players and address brain disease in thousands of retired ones.

“It’s frustrating because the induction is for my father and for the other players, but then to not be able to speak, it’s painful,” Sydney said. “I just want to give the speech he would have given. It wasn’t going to be about this mess. My speech was solely about him.”

Seau’s brain injury and suicide have nothing to with the decision to only show a video, according to Joe Horrigan, a spokesman for the Hall of Fame who has overseen the ceremony for about 20 years.

 

For deceased inductees, presenters spoke but Horrigan said they often repeated what was in the video, prolonging an already lengthy ceremony. So a few years ago, the Hall eliminated speeches in these cases.

“There was an acceptance speech for deceased players but it got redundant,” Horrigan said. “The honor is supposed to be for the individual.”

Ken Belson/New York Times

Tags: New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers

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NFL Ignores NFLPA Settlement Offer On Tom Brady Case

Jul 23, 2015 12:11 PM

The NFLPA extended a settlement offer to the NFL last week regarding Tom Brady's four-game suspension. The offer was ignored by the NFL.

It is believed that Brady is holding firm on his refusal to accept any suspension, though he would consider accepting a fine.

Brady is expected to go to federal court to fight the decision if the NFL upholds any part of the suspension.

Any delay in the announcement is rooted not in whether Goodell has made up his mind, but in the belief that Brady will challenge the issue in court, and that the NFL's decision must be designed, vetted and written to withstand that challenge.

 

Dan Graziano/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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Dan Connolly Retires At 32 Citing Family, Health

Jul 16, 2015 11:28 AM

Dan Connolly has decided to retire from the NFL at the age of 32. Connolly was a captain on the New England Patriots in 2014.

Connolly had interest from NFL clubs, but was weighing multiple factors.

He and his wife, Lori, have three daughters under 6 years old, and he didn't want to move the family or be away from them while he played in a different city.

Furthermore, health was the "biggest factor" in his thought process, as he had four diagnosed concussions in the NFL, as well as a fifth when playing at Marquette High School in Chesterfield, Missouri.

"It's important to me to leave the game healthy," Connolly said. "I'm able to be here for my kids and walk away on my own terms. I feel like I got everything I could out of football in playing 10 years, winning a Super Bowl, and playing alongside some truly great players."

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Misc Rumor

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Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots Agree Upon Four-Year, $17.2M Deal

Jul 15, 2015 2:25 PM

The New England Patriots and Stephen Gostkowski have agreed upon a long-term deal.

Gostkowski will sign a four-year, $17.2 million deal.

The Patriots were using their franchise tag on Gostkowski.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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NFLPA To Take Tom Brady's Appeal To Federal Court If Ban Not Reduced

Jul 15, 2015 11:35 AM

The NFL Players Association intends to contest the results of Tom Brady's appeal in federal court if his four-game suspension remains.

The NFLPA will argue the ball-deflation policy was incorrectly applied to Brady, as the rules were meant for club personnel and not players.

If it is determined the ball-deflation policy did apply to Brady, the league failed to give him notice of the penalty, in essence making up the punishment with precedent. Goodell should have recused himself as the arbitrator for Brady's appeal hearing.

The commissioner said last week that he expected to have a ruling soon, possibly sometime this week.

ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

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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.

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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
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Rachel Cohen/AP

Rob Gronkowski Only Living Off Endorsement Money
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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
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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
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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.

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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

Devin McCourty Doesn't Want To Return To Cornerback
The Patriots now turn to Logan Ryan, Eagles castoff Bradley Fletcher and undrafted Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler.

Marc Sessler/NFL.com

Wes Welker Open To Returning To Patriots
Wes Welker wants to continue his NFL career despite a lack of interest this offseason.

Dan Hanzus/NFL.com

Belichick On Deflategate: We're On To Next Year
Bill Belichick made his first public comments since the NFL punished Tom Brady and the Patriots for Deflategate.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

DeMaurice Smith: Wells Report Delivered What Client Wanted
The Wells Report was commissioned by the NFL and returned findings that found the New England Patriots as being culpable in deflating footballs

ESPN

Darrelle Revis: Patriots Have History Of 'Doing Stuff'
Darrelle Revis was critical of the Patriots' history with circumventing rules just months after winning a Super Bowl with the franchise.

Manish Mehta/New York Daily News

Patriots Won't Appeal NFL's Punishment For Deflategate
The Patriots received a $1 million fine and the loss of a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round selection in 2017.

Dan Hanzus/NFL.com

Brandon Spikes Returns To Patriots On One-Year Deal
Brandon Spikes played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2013 before signing a one-year deal with the Bills in 2014.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Roger Goodell Will Preside Over Appeal Of Tom Brady
Roger Goodell has decided to invoke his right under the collective bargaining agreement to preside over the appeal.

Mike Freeman/Bleacher Report

NFLPA Appeals Tom Brady's Suspension
"Given the NFL's history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal," the union said in a release.

ESPN

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