Patriots

Text messages show Patriots employees discussed deflation

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Text messages show Patriots employees discussed deflation

Text messages between Jim McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) played a significant role in the Wells investigation, it appears. 

In the text messages below, which appear early in the 243-page document, McNally and Jastremski go back and forth about releasing air from game footballs in the weeks and months prior to the AFC Championship game. The texts also discuss what appears to be compensation from Patriots quarterback from Tom Brady for McNally, who called himself "the deflator" before the season even began. 

In that text message, McNally also mentioned something about "going to espn" to shed light on what he, and presumably Jastremski and Brady, knew was illegal according to NFL rules. 

From the Wells report: 

In the weeks and months before the AFC Championship Game, McNally periodically exchanged text messages with the Patriots equipment assistant primarily responsible for the preparation of the Patriots game balls, John Jastremski. In a number of those text messages, McNally and Jastremski discussed the air pressure of Patriots game balls, Tom Brady‟s unhappiness with the inflation level of Patriots game balls, Jastremski's plan to provide McNally with a “needle” for use by McNally, and McNally‟s requests for “cash” and sneakers together with the “needle” to be provided by Jastremski. A sports ball inflation needle is a device that can be used to inflate a football (if attached to an air pump) or release air from a football (if inserted alone into a ball).

For example, on October 17, 2014, following a Thursday night game between the Patriots and the New York Jets during which Tom Brady complained angrily about the inflation level of the game balls, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: Tom sucks...im going make that next ball a f***** balloon

Jastremski: Talked to him last night. He actually brought you up and said you must have a lot of stress trying to get them done...

Jastremski: I told him it was. He was right though...

Jastremski: I checked some of the balls this morn... The refs f***** us...a few of then were at almost 16

Jastremski: They didnt recheck then after they put air in them

McNally: F*** tom ...16 is nothing...wait till next sunday

Jastremski: Omg! Spaz

On October 21, 2014, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: Make sure you blow up the ball to look like a rugby ball so tom can get used to it before sunday

Jastremski: Omg

On October 23, 2014, three days before a Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, Jastremski and McNally exchanged the following messages:

Jastremski: Can‟t wait to give you your needle this week :)

McNally: F*** tom....make sure the pump is attached to the needle.....f***** watermelons coming

Jastremski: So angry

McNally: The only thing deflating sun..is his passing rating

The next day, October 24, 2014, Jastremski and McNally exchanged the following messages:

Jastremski: I have a big needle for u this week

McNally: Better be surrounded by cash and newkicks....or its a rugby sunday

McNally: F*** tom

Jastremski: Maybe u will have some nice size 11s in ur locker

McNally: Tom must really be working your balls hard this week

On October 25, 2014, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following messages:

Jastremski: Size 11?

Jastremski: 2 or 3X?

McNally: Tom must really be on you

McNally: 11 0r 11 half......2x unless its tight fitting

Jastremski: Nah. Hasn‟t even mentioned it, figured u should get something since he gives u nothing

On January 7, 2015, eleven days before the AFC Championship Game, McNally and Jastremski discussed how McNally would have a “big autograph day” and receive items autographed by Brady the following weekend, before the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: Remember to put a couple sweet pig skins ready for tom to sign

Jastremski: U got it kid...big autograph day for you

McNally: Nice throw some kicks in and make it real special

Jastremski: It ur lucky. 11?

McNally: 11 or 11 and half kid

On January 10, 2015, immediately prior to the game between the Patriots and the Ravens, in the Patriots equipment room with both Brady and Jastremski present, McNally received two footballs autographed by Brady and also had Brady autograph a game-worn Patriots jersey that McNally previously had obtained.

In addition to the messages described above, before the start of the 2014-15 season, McNally referred to himself as “the deflator” and stated that he was “not going to espn……..yet.” On May 9, 2014, McNally and Jastremski exchanged the following text messages:

McNally: You working

Jastremski: Yup

McNally: Nice dude....jimmy needs some kicks....lets make a deal.....come on help the deflator

McNally: Chill buddy im just f***** with you ....im not going to espn........yet

Patriots reportedly almost traded for Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason

Patriots reportedly almost traded for Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason

Heading into the offseason after yet another Super Bowl win, one of the biggest areas of concerns for the Patriots is wide receiver. 

There were similar concerns this time last season. The team eventually shored up the position by trading for Cordarrelle Patterson and Josh Gordon, but Patterson is a free agent and Gordon's return to the team is still up in the air. 

Neither move might've happened if the Patriots had succeeded in their pursuit of one star player in 2018. 

On Pro Football Talk Live, Chris Simms reported that the Patriots were frontrunners to land star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. when the Giants were shopping him last offseason. 

"From everything I know, from multiple sources, the thing that stopped the trade conversation with Odell Beckham Jr. is because the team that was most aggressive in pursuing him was the New England Patriots. The New England Patriots were trying to get Odell Beckham Jr. all last offseason." 

MORE PATRIOTS

If the trade went through, last season might've turned out quite differently for New England. Beckham Jr. would have been the most talented wideout Tom Brady had thrown to in years. Gordon put up 737 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games with the Patriots. What kind of numbers could Beckham Jr. have put up if he was catching passes from Brady over the course of a full season?

With receiver remaining a weak spot in New England and continued rumors that the Giants may move on from Beckham Jr. sooner rather than later, the Patriots may have another chance. He isn't a typical Patriot with his hefty contract and constant presence in the media, but Bill Belichick is trying to maximize the last leg of Brady's career. No one can predict what he's up to in Foxboro. 

Time will only tell if the Pats take another swing at the supremely talented receiver. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

 

PFF ranks Trent Brown, Marcus Cannon two of the best tackles in AFC East

PFF ranks Trent Brown, Marcus Cannon two of the best tackles in AFC East

New England's offensive line was a large part of the reason they won the Super Bowl; they managed to keep Brady upright despite facing talented pass-rushers in every playoff game, all while running roughshod over their opponents. 

Two cornerstones of their success came in the form of the two big tackles, Trent Brown and Marcus Cannon. While they weren't quite as dominant during the regular season, they still managed to rank as two of the best five tackles in the AFC East, with Cannon coming out as the best in the division according to PFF's rankings. 

Brown, an unrestricted free agent, was a key offseason addition for the Pats, who managed to acquire him from San Francisco for merely a fifth-round pick. Unfortunately, Brown's play may have priced him out of the Patriots' range, but they have his likely successor in the wings in the form of Isaiah Wynn. 

AREAS OF CHANGE

Cannon managed to stay on the field this year after finishing the previous season on the IR, playing in 13 games. He was excellent when he did play, and was a big part in shutting down the edge rushers of the Chargers and Chiefs in January. 

Brown may be gone by the time training camp rolls around, but Cannon is in the midst of a five-year deal, and will be the team's starting right tackle for the next few years, barring any injuries. If he can keep up his excellent play while remaining healthy enough for the playoffs, New England won't have to worry about the right side of the line for years to come. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.