New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty defended teammate Tom Brady on Monday in wake of the news of Brady's four-game suspension.
The NFL handed down its punishment Monday, five days after the release of the Wells report. The report stated Brady was likely 'at least generally aware' of Patriots staffers deflating the game balls below league requirements prior to New England's AFC championship win over the Indianapolis Colts.
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."
The league's punishment for the Super Bowl champion Pats included Brady's suspension, a $1 million fine and the loss of the team's first-round draft pick in 2016 and its fourth-rounder in 2017.
McCourty, after an appearance at a YMCA, addressed media, defending his star teammate and reiterating owner Robert Kraft's statement of 'unconditional support' for Brady.
“We've got full belief in Tom as our quarterback as a leader as a man on our team,” McCourty said, according to the Providence Journal. “I feel the same way as everyone else does in that locker room. Whatever it is, it’ll be for our team, but we have full belief and faith in our quarterback in Tom and it's been like that for me for six years. And that’s not going to change now.”
“I think right now we’re just focused getting better for the offseason,” McCourty said. “We’re not worried about what’s going to happen once the season starts. It’s just too far away right now for us as a team. Right now, our heads are down and we’re just trying to get better.”
Brady's agent said the quarterback would appeal the suspension.
- Jeremy Woo