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
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
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