NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league did not ask the New England Patriots to suspend the two equipment staffers involved in the team's Deflategate scandal.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that the NFL asked the Patriots to suspend Jim McNally and John Jastremski following the release of the Ted Wells Report.
When the NFL announced the New England's discipline for Deflategate, it said that Patriots owner Robert Kraft informed the league that the two staffers had been indefinitely suspended by the team.
Asked directly at a press conference at the spring NFL owners meetings whether the NFL requested the suspensions, Goodell said no.
Kraft was recently asked by The MMQB's Peter King why he suspended McNally and Jastremski while claiming his organization's innocence, but the owner refused comment for what he said was a variety of reasons.
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."
New England's discipline included a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady, which the NFL Players Association is appealing. On Wednesday, Goodell said that Brady's "non-cooperation" in the Wells investigation was a factor in his discipline.
The NFLPA requested Tuesday that Goodell recuse himself as the arbitrator in Brady's appeal. Goodell was asked at the press conference whether he will do so, but did not answer and said he wants to speak to the quarterback himself.
- Molly Geary