After much waiting, the NFL has announced its discipline in relation to DeflateGate. The league has suspended Tom Brady for four games, fined the New England Patriots $1 million, and stripped them of a 2016 first round draft pick and a 2017 fourth rounder.
The punishment comes on the heels of the Wells’ report which stated, “it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules” and called Brady “generally aware” of the incident.
NFL executive Vice President of football operations Troy Vincent informed Brady of the ruling, pointing out the quarterback’s lack of cooperation in the investigation factored in the punishment.
“Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.”
This is the third time the team has lost at least a draft pick and the second time they’ve been stripped of a first rounder. As you know, the Patriots lost a first round pick for their involvement in Spygate in 2008. The team also lost a third round pick in 1986 for violating the injured reserve rules.
It’s fair to assume Brady will be appealing his suspension in the hopes of cutting it down to two. Regardless, it seems extremely likely Brady will not play in the Week One opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Currently, second year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is in line to start.
The Patriots will also be without the services of LeGarrette Blount while the Steelers will not have Le’Veon Bell.