NFL's Finding: Patriots, Brady Probably Cheated

'Deflategate' investigation wraps up, though without definitive proof
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2015 1:45 PM CDT
NFL's Not-So-Firm Finding: Patriots Probably Cheated
Tom Brady looks to pass during the first half of the AFC Championship game against Indianapolis. The Colts complained about under-inflated balls in the first half.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

The NFL has produced a 243-page report on whether the Patriots cheated with under-inflated footballs, and it concludes with a definite maybe. As in, "it is more probable than not" that team personnel tinkered with footballs before the AFC title game and that Tom Brady was probably "at least generally aware" of said tinkering, report the Boston Globe and AP. The report singles out two Patriots employees, locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski, as the maybe-probable culprits, but the NFL hasn't decided whether they or Brady or the team will face penalties. Team owner Robert Kraft: "To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement," he says in a statement picked up at NBC.

Maybe the best part is the report's inclusion of texts between the two team employees in which they sound a little miffed about Brady's complaints about footballs. A sampling as cited by Deadspin:

  • McNally: "Tom sucks," he wrote after Brady complained about how balls were inflated in an October game. "im going make that next ball a f----- balloon."
  • McNally: "F--- tom....make sure the pump is attached to the needle.....f------ watermelons coming"
  • Jastremski: "So angry"
  • McNally: "The only thing deflating his passing rating"
(Read more New England Patriots stories.)

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