The NFL announced on Monday that it has suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season for conduct related to the team’s “deflategate” controversy.
The Patriots have also been fined $1 million and will lose their 2016 first-round draft pick and 2017 fourth-round draft pick as a result, the league announced.
The announcement comes less than a week after the release of the Wells report, a 243-page document detailing why an independent law firm found it “more probable than not” that Patriots personnel deliberately deflated the team’s footballs below approved levels to give Brady an advantage. The report additionally concluded that Brady was more likely than not “at least generally aware” of the situation.
John Jastremski and James McNally, the two key employees mentioned in the Wells report, have been “indefinitely suspended without pay,” the league said. If they are reinstated by the league, neither will be allowed to play a role in the “preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs” next season.
Here is the NFL’s full release (we’ll update as we know more):
The New England Patriots were notified today of the following discipline that has been imposed for violations of the NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules relating to the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game of this past season:
For the violation of the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation, the New England Patriots are fined $1 million and will forfeit the club’s first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and the club’s fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. If the Patriots have more than one selection in either of these rounds, the earlier selection shall be forfeited. The club may not trade or otherwise encumber these selections.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6th. Neither of these individuals may be reinstated without the prior approval of NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. If they are reinstated by the Patriots, Jastremski is prohibited from having any role in the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs to be used in NFL games during the 2015 season. McNally is barred from serving as a locker room attendant for the game officials, or having any involvement with the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs or any other equipment on game day.
Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL. Brady may participate in all off-season, training camp and pre-season activities, including pre-season games.
Commissioner Goodell authorized the discipline that was imposed by NFL Executive President Troy Vincent, pursuant to the commissioner’s disciplinary authority under the NFL Constitution and Bylaws and the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association.
“We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others,” Commissioner Goodell said. “We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.”
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