Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for his involvement in "Deflategate", the NFL announced Monday, In addition, the Patriots have been fined $1 million and will forfeit their first-round pick in the 2016 draft, and their fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft.
These major sanctions against the Patriots came five days after the Wells report was released, finding that Brady more likely than not had knowledge that the Patriots' equipment staff intentionally deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship game against the Colts. The two Patriots employees identified as culprits in" Deflategate" have been suspended indefinitely - John Jastremski and James McNally.
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"We reached these decisions after extensive discussions with (NFL executive vice president) Troy Vincent and many others," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell via a statement. "We relied on the critical importance of protecting the intergiry of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report."
Brady, who is expected to appeal the fine, was suspended for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. in a letter to Brady, Vincent said that the Wells report, "Documents your failure to cooperate candidly and fully with the investigation...Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated."