By Zac Boyer –
Tom Brady has been suspended four games and the New England Patriots have been fined $1 million and stripped of their first-round draft pick in 2016 and fourth-round draft pick in 2017, the NFL announced on Monday, as it handed out discipline following the investigation into the team’s use of under-inflated footballs.
Brady, who did not cooperate with the investigation by Ted Wells, was suspended without pay “for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL.” He will be permitted to participate in all of the team’s offseason and preseason activities, including training camp practices and games.
John Jastremski and James McNally, the two team employees who were deemed responsible for taking air out of the footballs before the game, were also disciplined by the league. Jastremski is not permitted to have any role in handling footballs during the upcoming season, while McNally is barred from serving as a locker room attendant in addition to his prohibition from handling footballs.
“We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement announcing the decision. “We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report.”
The 243-page report, compiled at the conclusion of a fourth-month investigation that traded to the AFC championship game in January, concluded that Jastremski and McNally actively played a role in removing air from the footballs at Brady’s request.
Brady has denied having any knowledge of the matter, though the investigation concluded that he likely did.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl in February, picking up their fourth title with a victory over the Seattle Seahawks.