New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady responded to the Ted Wells report for the first time on May 7. His agent, Don Yee, also issued a response on Thursday. The report alleges Brady conspired with two Patriots employees in deflating game balls used for the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Tom Brady has responded to the Ted Wells report.
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According to The Boston Herald's Adam Kurkijan, Brady was at Salem State's O'Keefe Sports Center for a speaking engagement on May 7. He answered questions from Jim Gray about the Wells report:
"I don't have really any reaction, Jim. Our owner commented on it yesterday. It's only been 30 hours. I haven't time to digest it but when I do I'll be sure to let you know about it.
"I accept my role as a public figure and you take the good with the bad.
"I dealt with a lot of adversity in my life. I'm very fortunate some people love me, support me."
Gray then asked Brady if the allegations have adversely affected the Patriots' Super Bowl XLIX win, Brady turned to the crowd to get a response. They overwhelmingly said "No!" before Brady turned back to Gray to say, "Neither do I," per Kurkijan.
The Boston Herald report says Gray asked Brady the question again. The latter responded by saying "Absolutely not."
Brady's agent, Don Yee, said the report "is a significant and terrible disappointment" in a statement obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport on May 7 (via NFL.com's Conor Orr):
"The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It's omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later.
"One item alone taints this entire report. What does it say about the league office's protocols and ethics when it allows one team to to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game?
"This suggests it may be more probable than not the league cooperated with the (Indianapolis) Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration.
"The league is a significant client of the investigators' law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm's website.
"This was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out -- all one has to do is read closely and critically, as opposed to simply reading headlines. The investigators' assumptions and interferences are easily debunked or subject to multiple interpretations.
"Much of the report's vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes, which is a common legal writing tactic. It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated in the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don't understand the context or culture of the sport.
"I was physically present for my client's interview. I have verbatiim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football."
Yee alleges the Wells report did not take his client's testimony into account, something which could have substantiated it even further. Brady's agent goes on to say the Wells report "contains significant and tragic flaws," per Orr.
Wells and his team of investigators released the report on Wednesday, May 6. They concluded that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski "more probable than not" deflated game balls used for the AFC Championship Game against the Colts on Jan. 18 after the referee examined them, per NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.
Wells and Co. also concluded that Brady "was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski," per NFL.com.
A May 6 ESPN update says the Ted Wells report includes text message exchanges between McNally and Jastremski implying Brady wanted the footballs deflated below the NFL standard of 12.5 pounds per square inch.
Moreover, text messages dated Jan. 7, 2015 suggest McNally requested autographed footballs and shoes from Brady in exchange for deflating the game balls, per ESPN.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent will now go over the report. A league source told ESPN's Adam Schefter a decision on possible sanctions for Brady, McNally and Jastremski is just "days" away.
Brady's father, Tom Brady, Sr., told USA TODAY's Jim Corbett on Wednesday "This was Framegate right from the beginning" while Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement saying his side's disappointment "would be a gross understatement," per NFL.com.
The 243-page Ted Wells report can be read in full here.
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