An anonymous New England Patriots player has said that backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has his support, TMZ reported Tuesday. The unnamed athlete also blasted Ted Wells after the investigator for the NFL stated quarterback Tom Brady was at least aware that the balls were underinflated. However, he said the star athlete had done nothing wrong.
Brady, 37, was suspended for four games, and the team was fined $1 million for his apparent involvement in Deflategate, the scandal stemming from the use of underinflated balls by the Patriots. Though the player said Garoppolo was up for the task, he defended his team's quarterback: "I hope Brady wins this appeal. If he doesn't, Jimmy will be ready to go.”
"Ted Wells is full of s---. Brady wouldn't do anything that would jeopardize our franchise,” he said. "I am upset. The whole team is upset. Brady has held himself together. ... But we know he's upset. This is some bulls---.” The player added: "Every time we win, we're accused of doing something wrong. It's like the NFL wants to discredit us for winning. If we lost, this wouldn't be a discussion. Goodell has again failed in his decision-making."
It’s unclear how much playing time Garoppolo will actually get, since Brady’s agent Don Yee said the player would appeal his suspension. Yee called the punishment “ridiculous” and said it had “no legitimate basis.” Brady has not spoken out, but before his suspension was handed down, the star athlete told sportscaster Jim Gray in an interview at Salem State University he had faced adversity in his life before and would face it again now. As for the Wells Report, Brady said he had no reaction and would release a statement after reading the document.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella