Tom Brady's agent blasts Wells report, Deflategate findings
The agent for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in a statement released Thursday morning, called the Wells report a "terrible disappointment."
In the statement, agent Donald H. Yee also goes after the league a day after the Deflategate findings said that it was "probable" that Brady had "knowledge" of the deflated balls.
"One item alone taints this entire report," the statement said. "What does it say about the league office's protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game?"
The 243-page report on "Deflategate" came out Wednesday and stopped barely short of calling the Patriots star quarterback a cheater. It did, however, call some of his claims "implausible" and left little doubt that he had a role in having footballs deflated before New England's AFC title game against Indianapolis in January and probably in previous games.
In his report, attorney Ted Wells said the quarterback "was at least generally aware" of all the plans to prepare the balls to his liking, below the league-mandated minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch. Wells said it was "more probable than not" that two Patriots employees -- officials' locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski -- executed the plan.
Here is the statement in its entirety:
"The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It's omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later. One item alone taints this entire report. What does it say about the league office's protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration.
The league is a significant client of the investigators' law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm's website. This was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out -- all one has to do is read closely and critically, as opposed to simply reading headlines. The investigators' assumptions and inferences are easily debunked or subject to multiple interpretations. Much of the report's vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes, which is a common legal writing tactic.
It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don't understand the context or culture of the sport. I was physically present for my client's interview. I have verbatim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football. For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom's testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks. Mr. Wells promised back in January to share the results of this investigation publicly, so why not follow through and make public all of the information gathered and let the public draw its own conclusions? This report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser."