February 2015 - New England Patriots Wiretap

NFL Fires Employee Who Sold Deflategate Footballs

Feb 18, 2015 3:42 PM

The NFL has reportedly fired an employee who sold footballs that were used in the AFC Championship Game, which later became the source of controversy due to whether they were deflated.

Adam Schefter reported on ESPN that the footballs used in the game were supposed to be donated to charity, but that one employee took some footballs and sold them instead.

“There are a few different league officials, according to people I spoke with today, at the game, who handled the footballs,” Schefter said. “League employees: League Employee 1, League Employee 2 and League Employee 3, we’ll call them, for lack of a better phrases, whose jobs are to handle the balls on game day. And League Official 1, he’s also supposed to take the balls out of play and then send them off to a charitable endeavor to raise money for a charitable endeavor that the league is embarking upon. Only on this day, and since that day, the league has since fired that employee for allegedly selling off some of those footballs on the side. So that employee — League Official 1 — has been fired since the AFC Championship Game.”

Adam Schefter/ESPN (via PFT)

Tags: New England Patriots

New ESPN Report On Deflategate Conflicts With Earlier Claims

Feb 17, 2015 11:51 PM

Kelly Naqi of ESPN.com released a report that conflicts with the report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that transformed the question of deflated footballs from a curiosity into a national sensation.

Regarding the halftime inspection of the footballs at halftime of the Colts-Patriots game, Naqi writes: “One source said [NFL executive Mike] Kensil personally checked the PSI (pounds per square inch) levels of all 12 footballs the Patriots had for use on offense and found that 11 of those 12 were underinflated by ‘one to two pounds.'”

Reported Mortensen on January 20: “NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources.”

Naqi’s report is more consistent with our report from January 25 regarding Mort’s contention that 11 balls were underinflated by two pounds: “As one league source has explained it to PFT, the football intercepted by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was roughly two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum. The other 10 balls that reportedly were two pounds under may have been, as the source explained it, closer to one pound below 12.5 PSI.”

Meanwhile, the new report from ESPN ignores the confusing Super Bowl Sunday item from NFL Media insisting that some of the balls were just “a few ticks under” the minimum.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Misc Rumor, Suspension

Patriots Ready To Begin Work On Darrelle Revis Extension

Feb 6, 2015 6:22 PM

The New England Patriots would like to "get to work" on negotiation a contract extension for Darrelle Revis.

Appearing on the Dennis & Callahan show on Boston radio station WEEI, Jonathan Kraft said that Revis' current contract for 2015, which would count $25 million against the salary cap, is just "a placeholder".

"He's been everything and more since he's been here," Kraft said of Revis. "Hopefully both sides want to make a deal and we'll be able to get one done."



Shawn Krest/CBS Sports

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

Bill Belichick Explains Not Calling Timeout At End Of Super Bowl

Feb 4, 2015 10:59 AM

Bill Belichick elected not to call a timeout before 2nd down on their own goalline to give the New England Patriots time to respond to a potential touchdown by the Seattle Seahawks.

Lynch's first down run moved the clock from 1:06 to just 26 seconds left.

Belichick said he considered calling a timeout, but changed his mind at the last second.

"We put our goal-line defense in probably around the same time they were sending in their multiple receiver group, and that's kind of what we wanted to be in there, to make sure they didn't run the ball in," Belichick said, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.

"I'd like to think had they tried to run the ball against our goal-line defense, with three receivers on the field -- we couldn't ask for any more than that in terms of trying to stop the running game," Belichick said. "We saw that matchup and we certainly gave some consideration to taking a timeout there and leaving some time on the clock. I don't know if that would have been a bad thing to do. It might have been a good thing to do. But it just seemed like -- in the flow of the game -- that we were OK with where we were."

The one final adjustment made by the Patriots was sending Malcolm Butler onto the field for Akeem Ayers.

Marc Sessler/NFL.com

Tags: New England Patriots

Brady Wants To Give MVP Truck To Malcolm Butler

Feb 3, 2015 11:15 AM

Tom Brady wants to give the Chevrolet truck he received for winning Super Bowl MVP to Malcolm Butler.

Butler made the key interception on the goalline in the final seconds of the New England Patriots' win over the Seattle Seahawks.

"A guy like Malcolm who makes that type of instinctive, quick play, that's one of his strong suits," Brady said Tuesday morning on WEEI-FM. "I don't think it surprised any of us players, because that's really what his skill set is. A lot of people didn't get to see that over the course of the season.

"It comes off as a great play, which it really was, obviously the biggest time of the year. Someone had to make a play. It happened to be Malcolm."

Butler is an undrafted rookie cornerback out of West Alabama.

"I would love to give him the truck," Brady said. "I would love to do that. I'm going to figure out how to make that work."


Tags: New England Patriots

NFL Confirms Colts GM Blew Whistle On Patriots

Feb 3, 2015 11:00 AM

Troy Vincent has confirmed that Indianapolis Colts' general manager Ryan Grigson contacted NFL officials about the New England Patriots using underinflated balls.

Vincent, football operations chief of the NFL, conducted an interview with "60 Minutes Sports" that airs Tuesday on Showtime, as reported Monday by MMQB.SI.com, in which he said Grigson notified the league about a potential deflation problem.

Nobody in the Colts organization has confirmed those details, and Grigson was silent on the topic in the days leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl.

"Everything I'm sure is going to come out in the investigation, guys. Like I said, it's not appropriate for me to talk about. I can't do that," Grigson said Jan. 23 when asked whether he or anyone else in the Colts organization had notified the league about the Patriots using underinflated balls. "It's in the league's hands. I'm sorry."


Tags: Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots

Only One Football Was Under-Inflated By Two Pounds

Feb 2, 2015 8:00 PM

Eleven of the 12 footballs used in the first half of the AFC Championship Game were judged by the officials to be under the minimum of 12.5 PSI, but just one was two pounds under. Many of them were just a few ticks under the minimum.

"Several" other balls were found to be roughly one pound under-inflated, and "several more" were either right at, or barely beneath, the correct inflation mark. 


While owner Robert Kraft and every other member of the Patriots have declared innocence, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that, "we have made no judgments" thus far.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Tags: New England Patriots

Tom Brady Doesn't Want To Retire Any Time Soon

Feb 2, 2015 5:17 PM

Tom Brady laughed when asked after the Super Bowl how much longer he plans to play.

"I love doing it, so I don't want it to end any time soon," said Brady. "A lot of decisions I make in my life are how to sustain it. That takes a commitment in and of itself. You have to put it in the bank, as Coach (Bill Belichick) always says, so it's there when you need it."

Brady will be 38 years old when the 2015 season kicks off.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

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

Seahawks Have Best Super Bowl 50 Odds

Feb 2, 2015 4:16 PM

The Seattle Seahawks are 5-1 favorites to win Super Bowl 50 next season.

Here are the Super Bowl 50 odds for all 32 teams:

Seahawks: 5-1
Patriots: 6-1
Packers: 6-1
Cowboys: 10-1
Colts: 12-1
Broncos: 12-1
49ers: 18-1
Eagles: 20-1
Steelers: 20-1
Lions: 22-1
Bengals: 25-1
Saints: 25-1
Cardinals: 30-1
Chiefs: 30-1
Ravens: 30-1
Chargers: 40-1
Giants: 40-1
Panthers: 40-1
Bears: 50-1
Dolphins: 50-1
Falcons: 50-1
Texans: 50-1
Bills: 60-1
Rams: 60-1
Vikings: 60-1
Browns: 75-1
Jets: 100-1
Raiders: 100-1
Washington: 100-1
Buccaneers: 150-1
Jaguars: 150-1
Titans: 250-1


Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, IQ

Patriots Were Just 12 Percent Likely To Win Before Interception

Feb 2, 2015 4:14 PM

The Seattle Seahawks were 94 percent likely to win with 15 minutes remaining in the game and holding a ten-point lead.

But Tom Brady completed 13 of his 15 fourth quarter pass attempts for two touchdowns for the Patriots to take a four-point lead.

The Seahawks responded by driving the length of the field to get to the Patriots' one-yard line. 

Brian Burke’s Advanced Football Analytics model suggested after the game that the Patriots’ chances of winning jumped from 12 percent before the interception to 99 percent afterward, for a swing of 87 percentage points. 

Bill Barnwell/Grantland

Tags: New England Patriots

Super Bowl XLIX Has Highest Ever Overnight TV Rating
Super Bowl XLIX had a 49.7 overnight rating, which is the highest in the history of the game.

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Seahawks Were 'Conscious' Of Clock On Play Leading To Interception
Russell Wilson intended to throw to Ricardo Lockette on a slant route.

Terry Blount/ESPN

Patriots Win Super Bowl XLIV; Brady MVP
Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson's pass at the goal-line to complete one of the wildest Super Bowl finishes ever.