In the report released last Wednesday, independent investigator Ted Wells found that "it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules" and that Brady "was at least generally aware of... the release of air from Patriots game balls" during the AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Brady has the right to appeal his suspension, and his agent has already said he will, but barring a reduced suspension, he will miss games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys.
Below is a list of players who have been suspended by the NFL for the past three seasons for violations of the league's player conduct policies, including the personal conduct policy. It does not include players suspended for violating the NFL's drug policies.
|Player||Team||Length of suspension||why?|
|Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens||Indefinite*||Violation of personal conduct policy (domestic violence incident)|
|Greg Hardy||Dallas Cowboys||10 games||Violation of personal conduct policy (domestic abuse charge)|
|Josh Brent||Dallas Cowboys||10 games||Violation of personal conduct policy (manslaughter conviction)|
|Tom Brady||New England Patriots||4 games||Violation of integrity of the game policy|
|Brandon Meriweather||Washington Redskins||2 games||Violation of player safety policy|
|Brandon Meriweather||Washington Redskins||2 games, reduced to one||Violation of player safety policy|
|Joe Mays||Denver Broncos||1 game||Violation of player safety policy|
|Dashon Goldson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1 game||Violation of player safety policy|
|Erik Walden||Indianapolis Colts||1 game||Headbutting Delanie Walker|
|Antonio Smith||Houston Texans||1 game||Removing helmet of Dolphins G Richie Incognito|
|Dominic Raiola||Detroit Lions||1 game||Stomping on leg of Bears DT Ego Ferguson|
|Dashon Goldson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1 game, reduced to zero games||Violation of player safety policy|
|Ndamukong Suh||Detroit Lions||1 game, reduced to fine||Stepping on leg of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers|
*Rice was initially suspended for two games, but after video evidence was leaked to the public, Rice was cut by the Ravens, and then suspended indefinitely. In November 2014, he was reinstated, and became an NFL free agent. He has not signed with a team since the ruling.
ESPN also compared the $1 million fine the Patriots received to the biggest team fines in NFL history.