Goodell: DeflateGate investigation ‘near the end’
By Mike Cole
It’s been two months since the AFC Championship Game, which means it’s been two months since the begin of DeflateGate.
The NFL’s investigation into whether the New England Patriots used deflated footballs in their blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts continues, and there’s no sign of the investigation coming to an end any time soon. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is hopeful the findings will be made available soon.
“I think the most important thing is to get the right information, to get the facts and to get the truth,” Goodell said in an interview with The MMQB’s Peter King. “And not to make any judgments until you get that. We have been very careful on that. We followed the facts. We took the information. We determined that we should bring Ted Wells to further the investigation. We haven’t given him a timetable except to be thorough, be fair and get to the truth. When he’s completed his report, that will be made public as well as to all of us.”
King then asked Goodell if he could provide any sort of specifics.
“I haven’t spoken to (Wells) for several weeks. I think he’s getting near the end, but there’s no requirement when.”
Goodell was then pressed as to whether two months was too long for the investigation.
“Again, I think that if you’re going to be thorough, it takes time,” he explained to King. “You’re having to meet with a lot of people. I guess it’s always too long, because you want to get to that issue and deal with it. It’s important not to exert any pressure to short-circuit or do anything other than be fair and transparent.”
One thing Goodell did say, though, was that he didn’t know anything about the Patriots’ reported use of deflated balls until after the AFC Championship Game. Some hypothesized that the NFL might have launched a sting operation against the Patriots with the hopes of catching them using deflated footballs, but if that’s the case, it would have been news to the commissioner.
“Let’s just short circuit this a little bit. I’m not going to get into what we knew and when we knew it because that’s part of what he’s investigating,” he said. “I can tell you that I was not personally aware of it until after the game.”
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