On Monday (May 11), the league announced that Tom Brady has been suspended, without pay, for the first four games of the upcoming season, the New England Patriots have been fined $1 million, and their two draft picks have been taken away.
The NFL also indefinitely suspended the two equipment staffers believed to have carried out the plan, including one who called himself “The Deflator.”
Due to the punishment, Brady will miss the season opener against Pittsburgh, Week 2 at Buffalo, a home game against Jacksonville and a game at Dallas, before returning when the Pats face the Colts in Indianapolis.
The Pats also lose a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
In a statement released Monday night, Patriots CEO Robert Kraft criticized the investigation on which the punishment was based and said Brady had the team’s “unconditional support” and that its “belief in him has not wavered.”
“Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league,” Kraft said. “Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.
“We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world,” the statement said. “We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report.”
Brady’s agent, Don Yee, says he will appeal the suspension to commissioner Roger Goodell.
“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis,” Yee said in statement. “And if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic.”