Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged involvement with the deflation of footballs used during the 2014 AFC championship game has been upheld, due to the fact that Brady “destroyed” his cell phone after the investigators had requested “access to text messages and other electronic information” related to the case.
Brady has been officially suspended and the Patriots were fined $1 million. Attendants Jim McNally and John Jastremski allegedly used needles to deflate Patriots’ footballs to give the team a competitive advantage throughout the course of games.
The NFL stated that the report shows not only Brady was aware, but orchestrated this scheme where they stated, which was enough to allow Goodell to conclude in his decision. According to sources, Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules.
The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.
Speculation that Brady’s suspension would be reduced intensified after Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who assaulted his then-girlfriend had his suspension reduced from ten games to four. The team was also stripped of two draft picks. It’s now expected that Brady will challenge the appeal in federal court.