After more than three months of research and compilation, attorney Ted Wells' report detailing the New England Patriots' Deflategate controversy was released Wednesday.
Viewable at this link (warning: contains NSFW language), courtesy of NFL Labor, the report is an extensive, 243-page document that lays out everything that is known about the deflated-football situation that first came to light following New England's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Wells reached the conclusion that quarterback Tom Brady was among those who were likely aware of the balls being deflated:
He also feels as though the legendary signal-caller was less than forthright about what he knew, per this excerpt, courtesy of SBNation's Brian Floyd:
Pats owner Robert Kraft has already responded to the report, and he disagrees with the notion that anyone within the organization knowingly took part in tampering with the footballs, according to Patriots.com:
While I respect the independent process of the investigation, the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me. Knowing that there is no real recourse available, fighting the league and extending this debate would prove to be futile. We understand and greatly respect the responsibility of being one of 32 in this league and, on that basis, we will accept the findings of the report and take the appropriate actions based on those findings as well as any discipline levied by the league.
The NFL has yet to comment on the report, but in terms of discipline, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the league is considering punishments for Tom Brady, locker attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski.
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman reported a source claims a suspension for Brady is "definitely on the table. Not set but could be part of the mix. All options are on the table."
NFL Network's Albert Breer reported the NFL will consider punishment for Belichick but noted the evidence outlined in the Wells report makes that outcome "less likely." Breer went on to say the Patriots as an organization are more likely to encounter league sanctions than Belichick.
Provided the league is convinced that Brady and other personnel had knowledge of the footballs, though, it stands to reason that the NFL will be pressured into handing down some type of punishment.
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