Ted Wells: Tom Brady not turning over phone was ‘ill-advised’
The 457-page transcript of the testimony from Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension appeal was published on Tuesday when the NFL Players Association filed its counterclaim on behalf of the New England Patriots quarterback in a New York court.
Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season on May 11 as a result of his participation in the Deflategate scandal. His appeal, which was later denied by the NFL on July 28, was heard on June 23 by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who declined the NFLPA’s request on Brady’s behalf to recuse himself from the appeal hearing.
Independent investigator Ted Wells led the investigation and met with Brady before the suspension was upheld. In the testimony transcript published on Tuesday, Wells said Brady’s refusal to turn over his phone records hurt Brady’s credibility.
Q. You rejected the testimony of Mr. Brady that he knew nothing about the ball deflation in the AFC Championship Game, right? You rejected that?
A. I did rejected it based on my assessment of his credibility and his refusal or decision not to give me what I requested in terms of responsive documents.
And that decision, so we can all be clear and I will say it to Mr. Brady, in my almost 40 years of practice, I think that was one of the most ill-advised decisions I have ever seen because it hurt how I viewed his credibility.
Brady’s suspension was upheld by the NFL on July 28. Goodell said in his decision “the evidence fully supports” allegations that Brady was involved in a scheme to tamper with game balls during the AFC championship game. Goodell also said Brady “willfully obstructed the investigation” by arranging for his cell phone to be destroyed.
In his initial report on the investigation findings, Wells wrote that it was probable Brady “was at least generally aware of ... the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
- Mike Fiammetta