After a 103-day investigation, Ted Wells has submitted his report on the “DeflateGate” controversy to commissioner Roger Goodell and the Patriots. The report, which spans 243 pages, is available in full right here. Wells and his team conclude that it’s “more probable than not” that Patriots personnel knowingly altered the inflation level of the game balls.
“In particular, we conclude that it is more probable than not that [locker room attendant] Jim McNally and [equipment assistant] John Jastremski participated in a deliberate plan to circumvent the rules by releasing air from Patriots game balls after the examination of the footballs by NFL game officials at the AFC Championship Game,” the report reads. “We believe that McNally and Jastremski were aware that the inflation level of the Patriots game balls following pre-game inspection by the game officials would be approximately 12.5 psi and planned for McNally to deflate the balls below that level following the pre-game inspection using a needle provided by Jastremski.
“Based on the evidence, we also have concluded that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
While the report implicates Brady, it adds that there’s no indication that Patriots ownership or the front office, including head coach Bill Belichick, was involved or had any knowledge of the affected balls. Team owner Robert Kraft has already released a statement in which he and his club will accept the findings of the report. However, he continues to stick behind members of his organization, and expressed disappointment with the investigation.
“To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement,” Kraft said.
Although there is not hard evidence proving that Brady was aware of the game balls being altered, text messages exchanged by McNally and Jastremski strongly suggest that the quarterback knew what was going on, making him a candidate for discipline from the NFL. Goodell released a statement today saying that a determination on “what steps to take” would be made by the league’s executive VP of football operations Troy Vincent and his team (Facebook link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com).