Patriots

Patriots

One of the footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game -- a Deflategate ball -- has been sold at auction for nearly $44,000.

According to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, the auction house Lelands.com sold the ball for $43,750. It had an original asking price of $25,000, though the chairman of Lelands.com, Joshua Evans, thought it might fetch as much as $100,000.

The ball was 1 of 11 that was re-inflated at halftime. Rovell reported it was sold by Laura Nichols, who was in the stands at that game and was handed the ball by Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell after New England's LeGarrette Blount scored a touchdown. Blount dropped the ball on the ground, and LaFell picked it up and handed it to Nichols.