One day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he was upholding Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, the Patriots’ quarterback let it be known that he doesn’t intend to take a seat without a fight.
In a statement posted Wednesday on his Facebook page, Brady said he was “very disappointed” with Goodell’s decision, dismissed several findings of the Wells Report and denied he played a role in – or had any knowledge of – the deflation of game balls used in the Patriots’ AFC Championship rout of the Indianapolis Colts in January.
“I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either,” Brady wrote. “Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past six months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was ‘probable’ that I was ‘generally aware’ of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused.”
Brady also addressed the “new evidence” Goodell mentioned when announcing his decision – the destruction of a cellphone the commissioner said contained “text messages and other electronic information” – denying that he had purposely tried to obstruct the league’s investigation or hide his role in the “Deflategate” scandal.
“I disagree with yesterday’s narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under any circumstances,” Brady wrote. “I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at any time, anything related to football air pressure…to suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.
“There is no ‘smoking gun,'” his statement continued, “and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.”
In May, the Wells Report singled out two Patriots personnel – Jim McNally and John Jastremski – as being responsible for under-inflating balls, the latter of whom admitted to investigators that he had discussed the issue with Brady in January, reportedly talking on the phone eight times and exchanging 15 texts.
Brady also said that he had authorized the NFL Players Association to try and settle his suspension with the league, but “the discipline was upheld without any counter offer.” And much like fellow player Adrian Peterson, who successfully sued the NFL to have his suspension overturned, it sounds like Brady is prepared to go to court with the NFLPA to get back on the field.
“I respect the commissioners’ authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen,” Brady wrote. “I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.”