NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged involvement in the “Deflategate” controversy. According to a report, the league offered to reduce the New England Patriots quarterback’s suspension if he admitted guilt and apologized for the incident.
On Tuesday, the league office announced that Brady would miss the first four games of the 2015 NFL season, reaffirming the ruling the commissioner made in May.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the reduction of the four-game suspension down to one or two games is a possibility if Brady admits to having knowledge of the deflation of the footballs of Patriots equipment assistant John Jastremski and Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally and to failing to cooperate with lead investigator Ted Wells. Brady was also reportedly required to make an apology for the involvement.
With Goodell reiterating the four-game ban, it appears the Patriots quarterback was not willing to admit guilt and apologize for the incident. Goodell also stated in the ruling that Brady’s choice to “destroy the cellphone he had been using since early November 2014” was a major factor in the decision.
Despite the distraction of the “Deflategate” controversy, Brady and the Patriots went all the way, winning Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24 last season. Brady was named the 2015 Super Bowl MVP with 328 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.
The NFL Players Association has announced its intention to file an appeal od the latest decision of the commissioner. Don Yee, Brady’s agent and lawyer, maintained that his client is innocent and that the appeal process was a “sham.”
If no changes in the ruling are made, Brady will miss games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys in the early part of the 2015 NFL season.