Tom Brady Suspended, Patriots Fined for DeflateGate
By Evan Reller
The NFL waited less than a week to levy punishment for the DeflateGate controversy revolving around the New England Patriots. The Ted Wells Report was released last Wednesday and the NFL has issued some stiff penalties.
We knew that the NFL would be issuing some sort of punishment towards the Pats, but this was surprising.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
In summation, Brady will miss the NFL season opener against the Steelers as well as games against the Bills, Jaguars, and Cowboys.
From the NFL’s official statement:
"Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. Brady may participate in all off-season, training camp and pre-season activities, including pre-season games.…As you know, we regard violations of competitive rules as significant and deserving of a strong sanction, both to punish the actual violation and to deter misconduct in the future. In this case, the footballs were intentionally deflated in an effort to provide a competitive advantage to Tom Brady after having been certified by the game officials as being in compliance with the playing rules. While we cannot be certain when the activity began, the evidence suggests that January 18th was not the first and only occasion when this occurred, particularly in light of the evidence referring to deflation of footballs going back to before the beginning of the 2014 season."
You can read the entire statement from the NFL here.
Brady will be able to appeal his suspension and the Patriots can still challenge the ruling. the ruling currently means that Brady won’t make his return to the season until Week 6, when the Patriots face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football.
A four game suspension is what players currently get under the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. The league reportedly felt that Brady’s action were of a similar nature and he should sit for the same amount of time.
Brady will undoubtedly appeal the suspension as will the Patriots in an attempt regain some of the fine and draft picks. This feels an awful lot like an NCAA sanction where they cite a “lack of institutional control” when a player takes independent action. Part of the heavy punishment is a result of the team’s previous history of ignoring the rules of the game.
While this is clearly a heavy handed approach, one has to wonder what the outcome would have been had the Patriots and Brady been more cooperative with the investigation and not taken a combative stance during the process. The NFL has once again handed down a punishment in an attempt to uphold the integrity of the game.
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