Report: NFL asked Patriots to suspend equipment employees
The Patriots indefinitely suspended equipment staff members John Jastremski and James McNally following the release of the Wells Report. Jastremski and McNally were accused of deflating footballs before New England's AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
On May 11, the NFL announced the Patriots' suspensions of Jastremski and McNally — along with a $1 million fine for the Patriots, the loss of two draft picks four-game ban for quarterback Tom Brady — saying the two equipment staffers had been suspended by New England at the advisement of Patriots' owner Robert Kraft.
Much of the evidence presented in the Wells Report came from text messages between Jastremski and McNally, in which McNally referred to himself as "the deflator." McNally allegedly released air from the Patriots' footballs after they had been approved by the referees.
Last week, the Patriots released an annotated rebuttal to the Wells Report in which they denied all wrong-doing and said "the deflator" referred to McNally's weight loss.
- Alex Putterman