For now, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is still slated to miss the first four games of the 2015 season as Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Tuesday that the NFL has decided to uphold his original suspension stemming from his alleged role in Deflate-gate last season.
Here is the statement that the league released on the Brady ruling following his appeal that took place several weeks ago.
In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.
On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.
Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.
We will now wait and see if Brady takes this to the courts in order to have his suspension overturned entirely. If it does go to the courts, Brady might could get an injunction that would allow him to play until his case is heard.
The Patriots are scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Thursday night regular-season opener.