Tom Brady has responded to the NFL’s decision to uphold his four-game suspension.
In a Facebook post, Brady denies any wrongdoing and says there’s no “smoking gun” that proves he had any role in or knowledge of a plot to deflate footballs before the AFC Championship game.
Brady also addresses the new revelation that he destroyed his mobile phone around March 6, the day he happened to be meeting with NFL investigators for the Wells report.
According to the NFL’s 20-page decision on Brady’s appeal, the Patriots quarterback used a mobile phone from November 6, 2014 until around March 6, 2015, and then had it destroyed, despite the fact that the NFL had been requesting his electronic information for weeks. His lawyers didn’t tell the NFL about this until June 18, a few days before his appeal hearing. Brady told the hearing that it’s common practice to destroy his old phones when he gets a new one.
On Facebook, Brady attempted to argue that this isn’t as suspect as it looks. He said that his lawyers had already told the NFL they weren’t getting the mobile phone, so when he got a new iPhone in March, he didn’t see anything wrong with destroying his old one. His full explanation:
I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my mobile phone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.
Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.
To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no “smoking gun” and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.
Brady was under no legal obligation to overturn his mobile phone.
Brady’s argument is: I wasn’t going to give you the phone anyway, and I didn’t have to, so who cares that I destroyed it.
The problem with that is it doesn’t exactly scream “cooperation.” In its initial letter announcing Brady’s punishment, the NFL harped on Brady’s lack of cooperation as a primary reason why he was suspended. When the NFL asks for your phone, and instead of giving it to them you throw it in the garbage, it’s hard to argue that you’re being fully cooperative.
ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson said refusing to give the NFL his phone/texts, and then destroying it, was his biggest mistake in the investigation. In addition, the NFL found that Brady didn’t immediately destroy the mobile phone he used from the spring of 2014 to November 2014, which suggests it’s not actually common practice for him to trash his phone right after he gets a new one.
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