Brady’s Suspension Upheld Amid Cell Phone Destruction

By Joe Jacobs 7/28/2015

Tom Brady

Goodell has spoken, and Brady is still suspended.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld New England Patriots Tom Brady’s four-game suspension over Deflategate. In response Brady has promised to sue. And it turns out that the quarterback’s cell phone is in the center of the controversy.

Once Goodell learned that Brady had an assistant destroy a cellphone he had used during the NFL playoffs, the Commissioner decided to keep Brady on the sidelines for four games.

The decision comes almost six months after the Patriots allegedly under-inflated footballs during the first half AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots won the game 45-7, scoring the bulk of their points in the second half.

The League spent $5 million to investigate the incident which claimed that Brady was “at least generally aware” that two Patriots employees had tampered with the game balls.

Those findings led to Brady’s four game suspension and the Patriots losing two draft picks and a $1 million fine.

Brady promptly appealed his suspension, and last month he met with Goodell at the League’s New York City headquarters.

This week, the Commissioner released a 20-page report detailing why he would not reduce the suspension, largely based on the destruction of the cell phone and what he described as Brady’s failure to cooperate during the investigation.

Brady had testified he ordered an assistant to destroy the cell phone he used during the time of the investigation in early March, right before he was set to meet with League investigators. The assistant destroyed 10,000 text messages. Brady has said that he regularly destroys his cell phones and this action had nothing to do with the investigation. He reportedly had offered the phone’s history from the server to the NFL.

In what he characterized as a “new development,” Goodell maintained that “Mr. Brady had failed to cooperate with the investigation,” and his denial of involvement and wrongdoing in the case was “not credible.”

“Especially in light of the new evidence introduced at the hearing — evidence demonstrating that he arranged for the destruction of potentially relevant evidence that had been specifically requested by the investigators — my findings and conclusions have not changed in a manner that would benefit Mr. Brady.”

Brady has adamantly denied he knew anything about the under-inflated footballs. He is working with the NFL Players’ Association to file a federal court lawsuit.
The decision will cost Brady about $2 million.

Brady’s agent Don Yee has called the decision “deeply disappointing,” saying “neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong.”

Today Patriots owner Robert Kraft apologized to Pats fans at at a press conference saying he should have taken action immediately.

“I was wrong to put my faith in the League. Given the facts, evidence and laws of science that underscored this entire situation, it is completely incomprehensible to me that the League continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players, a man for which I have the utmost respect.”

Brady will be allowed to participate in off-season training camp and team activities while he sues the League, but backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be preparing to start the first four games of New England’s season. Brady’s suspension is set to end October 18 in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.