The NFL have suspended the New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, for his role in the deflategate scandal.
Last night the league punished the Super Bowl MVP with a four game suspension without pay. Brady will miss the first four games of the 2015 season. The Patriots received a $1 million fine and lost two draft picks, including next year’s first round pick and the fourth round pick for 2017.
The games Brady will miss:
Week 1 – home to Steelers
Week 2 – at Bills
Week 3 – home to Jaguars
Week 4 – Bye
Week 5 – at Cowboys
Last season’s Super Bowl winners were under investigation for ball tampering during their AFC Championship game at home to the Indianapolis Colts.
Last week a report found that Brady was “generally aware” that balls had been deflated. The game was played in wet conditions and balls that have a lower psi allow the quarterback to grip and control them better.
A statement from the NFL said:
“The New England Patriots were notified today of the following discipline that has been imposed for violations of the NFL Policy on Integrity of the Game and Enforcement of Competitive Rules relating to the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game of this past season.”
“For the violation of the playing rules and the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation, the New England Patriots are fined one million US dollars and will forfeit the club’s first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and the club’s fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.”
“If the Patriots have more than one selection in either of these rounds, the earlier selection shall be forfeited. The club may not trade or otherwise encumber these selections.”
“Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for conduct detrimental to the integrity of the NFL.”
“Brady may participate in all off-season, training camp and pre-season activities, including pre-season games.”
What happens to the guys who tampered the ball?
Locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski were suspended without pay by the club after that independent report found it was “more probable than not” that they “participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee”.
The NFL said, “Neither of these individuals may be reinstated without the prior approval of NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent.”
“If they are reinstated by the Patriots, Jastremski is prohibited from having any role in the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs to be used in NFL games during the 2015 season.”
“McNally is barred from serving as a locker room attendant for the game officials, or having any involvement with the preparation, supervision, or handling of footballs or any other equipment on game day.”
The pressure will be on Brady’s back-up QB, last season’s second-round pick, Jimmy Garoppolo in those opening weeks. Rex Ryan and his new look Bills must be relishing the thought of putting one over their divisional rivals as early as Week 2.
Tom Brady will return to action in Week 6 when the Patriots travel to…you guessed it, the Indianapolis Colts. You couldn’t make it up.