The New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl, but the Pats have not been cleared in the Deflategate controversy. Just a day after the team won its fourth championship in 14 seasons, a report named the person who informed the NFL about what the Patriots had been doing to their footballs.
MMQB.SI.com reported Troy Vincent confirmed Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson contacted the league about New England breaking the rules. Vincent, the NFL's chief of football operations, revealed the information in an interview with “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime, which airs on Tuesday.
"Everything I'm sure is going to come out in the investigation, guys. Like I said, it's not appropriate for me to talk about. I can't do that," Grigson said Jan. 23. "It's in the league's hands. I'm sorry."
After the Patriots beat the Colts in the AFC Championship, 45-7, it was reported the NFL was investigating whether or not the team used footballs that did not meet the minimum weight the league requires. The NFL is looking into the matter, and it’s unknown when or what kind of punishment will be levied.
It was initially reported Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was the one who jump-started the controversy. He intercepted a pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the first half of the title game, and gave the football to a member of the team’s equipment staff. The linebacker, though, said he didn’t notice the ball was underinflated, and handed it off so it would be saved as a souvenir.
"I'm a linebacker, I'm a defensive guy," Jackson told ESPN.com. "If anybody recognized anything it definitely wouldn't come from me."
Newsday reported a member of the equipment staff noticed the football was underinflated. He then told head coach Chuck Pagano, and after being notified of the situation, Grigson contacted Mike Kensil, NFL director of football operations.
All but one of New England’s footballs against Indianapolis were found to have been underinflated, and they were inflated to the proper weight at halftime. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported the league already had intended to check the weight of the footballs before Jackson’s interception. According to Glazer, the Colts were tipped off about New England using illegal footballs, and told the NFL, before the AFC title game.
Brady and Bill Belichick have denied any knowledge of anyone deflating 11 of the team’s 12 footballs used in the first half of the game. Owner Robert Kraft has asked the NFL to issue an apology if the team is cleared of wrongdoing.