Tom Brady's agent: Deflategate report has 'significant and tragic flaws'
The Wells report, released Wednesday, found that two members of the Patriots' gameday staff "more likely than not" deflated footballs intentionally. The report also states that it is probable Brady "was at least generally aware of" the staffers' actions.
Yee criticized Wells' findings, alleging that investigators determined their conclusion before gathering facts. He also says the report is tainted because it "buries" the fact that the Colts were allegedly tipped off about the deflated footballs before the AFC championship game. Borrowing a phrase from the Wells report, Yee says it is "more probable than not" that the league and the Colts conspired on a sting operation.
Yee also discusses Brady's handling of the investigation. The report states that Brady declined to cooperate fully with the investigation, failing to give investigators his cell phone records. But Yee counters that the Wells report failed to include enough of Brady's testimony:
I was physically present for my client’s interview. I have verbatim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football. For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks.
Yee also highlights the NFL's relationship with Wells, pointing out that the league is a "significant client" of Wells' law firm and arguing that "reports like this are generally written for the purchaser."
In addition to concluding that Brady likely knew about the staffers' actions, the Wells report also found that Brady gave the two staffers valuable autographed items "around the time that Brady was selecting the game balls to be used during the game against the Ravens."
At a press conference in January, Brady said he "didn't alter the balls in any way" and "would never have someone do something that was outside the rules." Brady explained how he has a "process" for determining which balls he chooses to use in the game and doesn't want anyone to touch them after he's selected them.
- Stanley Kay and Dan Gartland