The New England Patriots lashed out Thursday at the report that led to the NFL’s four-game suspension of superstar quarterback Tom Brady, contesting its conclusions.
The Patriots posted a point-by-point rebuttal of attorney Ted Wells’ report online at Wellsreportcontext.com, arguing that his conclusions were “incomplete, incorrect and lack context.”
The Patriots’ offensive comes on the same day on which Brady must submit any appeal of his four-game suspension, which would cover the first four games of the 2015 season.
In comments written by attorney Daniel L. Goldberg, who represented the Patriots and was present during interviews of team personnel for the Wells report, the team claimed investigators ignored some findings and misinterpreted others as it found that Brady was mostly likely aware of a plot to deflate balls in New England’s AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts this year.
Victory in that game put the Patriots into the Super Bowl, where Brady earned Most Valuable Player honors in leading the team to a fourth Super Bowl title.
“The report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of PSI of the Patriots’ footballs by inexplicably rejecting the referee’s recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection,” the Patriots say.
“Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot.”
The Patriots’ rebuttal comes two days after Wells hit back at criticism of his report, dismissing suggestions of a witch-hunt against Brady.
Wells called it “ridiculous” to think the NFL wanted to make Brady “the most popular, iconic face in the league” a scapegoat.
When the findings of the NFL probe were released on May 6, Patriots owner Robert Kraft voiced disappointment, but indicated the team wouldn’t fight league sanctions.
But Kraft was unhappy with severity of sanctions announced on Monday: Brady’s ban, a $1 million fine for the Patriots and loss of a 2016 first-round draft selection.
“Our intention is to provide additional context for balance and consideration,” Goldberg wrote.