Tom Brady Suspended, Patriots Penalized For Deflategate
The preliminary punishment for Brady is him being suspended for four games. As for the Patriots organization, they will be fined $1 million and docked a first-round selection in 2016 and a fourth-round selection in 2017.
For those unaware, ‘Deflategate’ was originated after the AFC Championship game, where the Patriots cruised to a 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Reports soon came out claiming that the balls used in the game by the Patriots, were under-inflated and provided an unfair advantage to the Patriots.
The Wells Report had publicly been announced to the Patriots and general viewers in the past week. Although many have their personal opinions on the report, commissioner Roger Goodell has made it evident that no one should threaten the integrity of the game.
This is the second violation in recent years for the Patriots. Flashback to 2007, head coach Bill Belichick had been accused of using cameras to watch opponent teams and their signal calls. Eventually, this would be known as, ‘Spygate’. The consequences of, ‘Spygate’ was that Belichick would be, personally fined $500,000 while the Patriots be fined $250,000 and stripped of their first-round selection.
The suspension on Brady was expected to be anywhere from two to eight games, some even speculated a whole season’s worth. The normal process for Brady would be to appeal the suspension and ultimately knock down the suspension to a two-game suspension, total.
Keep in mind, Brady can still participate in all offseason, training camp, and preseason activities, including preseason games, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
As for the team being penalized, the stripping of the first-round and fourth-round selections, in addition to the $1 million fine, came to a surprise to a majority.
To put into perspective, ‘Bountygate’ (yes another scandal with the term, “gate”, at the end) was a scandal run by the New Orleans Saints that would pay bonuses to players who would intentionally hurt opposing opponents. The punishment for the infamous, ‘Bountygate’ was head coach Sean Payton being suspended for the entirety of the season; the organization would be fined $500,000 – the maximum amount the league can deliver under league constitution.
For those worried about the locker room attendents, John Jastremski is likely not preparing any footballs for his time being.
If reinstated by Patriots, Jastremski is prohibited from preparing, supervising, or handling footballs used in NFL games during 2015 season
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) May 11, 2015
The Patriots are the fourth team to be disciplined this offseason; the New York Jets were fined $100,000 for tampering with cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Cleveland Browns were fined $250,000 and their general manager, Ray Farmer, will serve a month long suspension, and the Atlanta Falcons were fined $350,000 and docked a fifth-round selection in 2016.
In Brady’s absence, backup quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo, second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, will step into the starting role. If the suspension stands, following the likely Brady appeal, Garroppolo will likely start four games.
Keep in mind, winning the appeal will result in a reduced suspension and perhaps a difference in the draft picks docked. As stated earlier, if Brady’s suspension is, in fact, at four games, he will return to play the Colts, the same team that started the fiasco.
This will not be the end of, ‘Deflategate’ saga. Upcoming would be the expected appeal, NFLPA talks, and consistent questions to both Goodell and the Patriots organization about the recent outcome.