The NFL has announced they have taken action on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for their respective roles in the controversial “Deflate-Gate” scandal that reportedly took place during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January.
The Pats’ star quarterback has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015-2016 regular season. In addition, the Patriots organization will be fined $1 million, lose a first-round pick in 2016, and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
This news comes five days after a 243-page report by NFL-appointed attorney, Ted Wells, was released, where it was stated that Patriots’ personnel knowingly deflated footballs before the AFC title game, and that Brady was “generally aware” of what was going on. The two employees named in the report who carried out the deflating were officials’ locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski.
This is now the second time in the last eight years that New England has been disciplined by the league. In 2007, the organization was fined $250,000 and their first-round pick in the 2008 draft was taken away for the “Spygate” incident, where they reportedly videotaped New York Jets defensive coaches’ signals during a game. Head coach, Bill Belichick, was fined $500,000 for his role, the largest ever for a coach in league history.
After defeating Indianapolis 45-7 in that AFC title game, New England went on to win Super Bowl XLIX by a score of 28-24 over the defending champion, Seattle Seahawks.
The Patriots are expected to appeal the suspensions, fines, and draft pick losses.