You can bet Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is happy with the findings of the Ted Wells, Deflategate report.
Tom Brady has never been one of Suggs’ favorites. And now, according to the Wells report, “Based on the evidence, we also have concluded that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least partially aware of the inappropriate activities of (Jim) McNally and (John) Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
Brady’s integrity is being questioned. Somewhere, Suggs is smiling.
Meanwhile, the report leaves the Ravens and every other NFL team with obvious questions, such as:
- How severely will Brady be punished?
Other players will be waiting to see just how hard the league comes down on Brady, one of the league’s biggest stars. If the punishment is light, many players will be convinced Brady is receiving preferential treatment.
- How long have Brady and two Patriots employees been looking for ways to provide Brady with underinflated footballs?
The underinflated footballs were discovered during the AFC Championship game, just one week after the Patriots defeated the Ravens, 35-31, in the divisional round. Was Brady throwing with footballs that were underinflated against the Ravens and other teams last season?
Ravens coach John Harbaugh made it clear before the Super Bowl that he did not tip off the Colts, or the NFL, about underinflated footballs after the Ravens-Patriots playoff game. Once the Colts complained, Harbaugh and the Ravens were content to let the league conduct its investigation.
“I never made any call,” Harbaugh said during NBC’s Super Bowl pre-game show. “Nobody in our organization made any call.”
However, the Wells report concluded that Brady’s claims of innocence were not very believable.
According to the report, Brady denied any knowledge of or involvement in any efforts to deflate game balls, and told investigators that before the events surrounding the AFC Championship Game, he didn't even know the name of Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally.
"We found these claims not plausible and contradicted by other evidence," the Wells report concluded.
Now we’ll see if the NFL hits Brady harder than Suggs ever has.